Tina Hutchence always remembers the day her 17-year-old brother told her he had joined a rock band. “I asked him what he was doing in the band as he didn’t play an instrument,” Tina, 70, tells WHO of Michael Hutchence. “I was quite surprised when he said he was singing—I didn’t remember him singing around the house very much.”
But after Tina heard the band in Sydney, and saw Michael perform, “I understood and I could see his vision,” she says. “He was a natural.”
So natural, Michael Hutchence became one of the world’s most iconic rock stars as the frontman for INXS, whose shocking death at Sydney’s Ritz-Carlton hotel on Nov. 22, 1997, blindsided his fans and loved ones.
The last time Tina, who lives in California, saw her brother was just before he left the US following a tour, to return to Sydney.
“Our last conversation was the night he was leaving for Sydney to rejoin the tour,” says the grandmother of five. “He told me he did not want to go, but felt a responsibility towards the band.”
Nov. 22 marks the 20th anniversary of Michael’s death, which the NSW Coroner ruled a suicide due to a “severe depressed state” caused by factors including an ongoing custody battle between Michael’s partner Paula Yates, with whom he shared daughter Tiger, and Yates's ex Bob Geldof.
“I learned of Michael’s death in a phone call from our younger brother, Rhett, at the same time as it was being reported over CNN,” says Tina. “What I miss most about him is his wonderful sense of humour. He had the most animated way of telling a funny story. And I miss his hugs—warm and affectionate and long.”
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