New INXS front man says he was fired

Feb. 20, 2009 at 10:31 AM
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SYDNEY, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Canadian singer J.D. Fortune, the winner of the competition reality show "Rock Star: INXS," says the Australian band has fired him and he's now homeless.

"Rock Star" was a show created to help INXS find a new permanent front man after its lead singer, Michael Hutchence, died in 1997 and the band was unsuccessful in replacing him, the BBC noted. Fortune beat out 10 finalists on the show and recorded the album, "Switch," with INXS in 2005 before embarking with the veteran rockers on a 2 1/2-year world tour.

Fortune told Canada's "Entertainment Tonight" program that he was dismissed with a handshake and a "thank you" after the tour ended, and now has no money and is living in his pickup truck.

He also said that he used cocaine during his early days with the band, but insisted he has not used drugs in two years.

"I found myself really alone because I had traveled with these guys for 23 months," Fortune said of his involuntary departure from the band.

The BBC said the group, which is on hiatus, hasn't confirmed Fortune's allegations and still lists him as its singer on its Web site.

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