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Inxs Leader Hutchence Dead, Reports Say

Michael Hutchence, the lead singer for the rock band INXS, was found dead Saturday in a Sydney hotel, according to news reports.

Hutchence’s body was found in his room at the Ritz Carlton Hotel shortly after midday, the Australian Associated Press and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said.

Channel 10 TV in Australia reported that Hutchence committed suicide by hanging himself.

Police did not release the identity of the deceased, pending notification of relatives, or say what the cause of death was. They said foul play was not suspected.

Police took a leather belt as evidence and also said they found prescription drugs in the room.

Hutchence was in Australia preparing for the band’s 20th anniversary tour.

The band was formed in Perth after Hutchence, 37, teamed up with Andrew and Tim Farris in the late 1970s.

The band had major hits in Australia early in its career with songs including “Burn For You,” “I Send A Message” and “Don’t Change.”

INXS achieved international success in 1987 with their album “Kick,” which sold 9 million copies. It featured four hit singles: “Never Tear Us Apart,” “Need You Tonight,” “New Sensation” and “Devil Inside.”

Hutchence was always described as the focus of the band, with a style similar to that of Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison of The Doors.

He was self-deprecating about his success in an interview with The Associated Press earlier this year.

“I basically just stumble through all this,” he told the AP. “I am a tenacious, ambitious person, it seems, if I have to admit it to myself, but I didn’t notice at the time.”

The sextet once cranked out a hit album every year or two, selling 20 million records since 1981.

INXS toured constantly throughout the world and performed at major charity gigs, including the Australian end of the Live Aid concert series in the 1980s.

Hutchence has been linked romantically in recent years with fellow Australian pop star Kylie Minogue, model Helena Christensen and the former wife of rock star Bob Geldof, Paula Yates.

Hutchence and Yates have a baby called Heavenly Hirani Tiger Lily.

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