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Irish musician becomes new INXS frontman

Belfast-born musician Ciaran Gribbin has been hired as the new frontman for rock band INXS. He replaces JD Fortune and becomes the band’s fourth lead singer.

Ciaran Gribbin
Ciaran Gribbin
Image: INXS

LEGENDARY ROCK BAND INXS have revealed their new lead singer – Irish musician Ciaran Gribbin.

It’s a surprise for many of Gribbin’s fans, who have come to know the young man as his alter-ego Joe Echo.

The announcement was made yesterday on the official INXS site, where the first demo recording made with Gribbin - Tiny Summer – was also unveiled.

This is INXS’ fourth lead singer. The band formed in 1977 in New South Wales, Australia, and were fronted by the late Michael Hutchence for 20 years.

Belfast-born Gribbin told Billboard that he has been a fan of the band since he was a child, with INXS playing a “huge part in my musical education”.

The 35-year-old started off his music career in indie band Leya, before going solo and ending up in a very different musical sphere – electronic music.

He worked with Groove Armada, Paul Oakenfold and Madonna – even winning a 2010 Grammy nomination for the Madonna song ‘Celebration‘.

Gribbin also wrote and produced the soundtrack to the films Killing Bono and Heartless, and contributed music to the films Wild Target and Love and Suicide.

But in 2009, he met INXS’ Andrew Farriss at a party in Sydney and the two ended the night singing ‘Mystify’ together. Their musical partnership moved on from there, with the duo crafting demos including Tiny Summer.

Farriss said he “felt magic” when the two wrote together.

“It’s all so amazing and sometimes overwhelming, especially when I look up and see that my writing partner is one of the greatest songwriters of our time,” said Gribbin.

The most recent INXS album – Original Sin – was a tribute release and featured many different guest vocalists, including Ben Harper, Tricky and Nikka Costa.

With six live dates already in the pipeline, Gribbin calls his induction into the band “a baptism of fire” - and admits he still wakes up in the morning asking, “how did I get here?”

Watch Gribbin as Joe Echo:

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