What was Michael Hutchence’s Net Worth?

Michael Hutchence was an Australian musician and actor who had a net worth of $1 million at the time of his death.

Michael Hutchence’s wealth and estate has been a mystery in the decades after his death. Despite earning an estimated $60 million during his career (before taxes), Michael died with just $40,000 in his bank account. His total assets after being liquidated amounted to $700,000 after liabilities were subtracted. All of this remaining money was eaten up by lawyers and other various fees after his death.

What’s shocking is that by most reasonable accounts, Michael should have had a minimum of $20 million worth of real estate, cash and investments. Yet he somehow died almost penniless.

In 2005, it was revealed that Michael’s assets were being held by a complex series of trusts with a vague ownership structure. The trusts do not benefit Michael’s parents or daughter.

Michael Hutchence was best known as the co-founder and lead singer and lyricist of the Australian rock band INXS. INXS’ singles include “The One Thing”, “Don’t Change”, “Original Sin”, “I Send a Message”, “What You Need”, “New Sensation”, and “Suicide Blonde”. INXS was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2001. The band won six Australian Recording Industry Association award and has sold nearly 40 million record worldwide to date.

Michael was also a member of the short-lived band Max Q, and recorded some work as a solo artist. In late 1997, Hutchence was found dead in his Sydney hotel room from suicide.

Early Life and Education

Michael Hutchence was born on January 22, 1960 in Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia to makeup artist Patricia Glassop and businessman Kelland Hutchence. He has a half-sister named Tina and a younger brother named Rhett. Due to the business interests of Hutchence’s father, the family moved to Brisbane and later to Hong Kong. In the latter city, Hutchence went to Glenealy Junior School, Beacon Hill School, and King George V School. After returning to Sydney in 1972, he attended Davidson High School, where he met and befriended Andrew Farriss. The boys spent much of their time playing music together, with Hutchence eventually joining his friend’s band Doctor Dolphin. When Hutchence was 15, his parents separated, and he subsequently lived with his mother and half-sister in California for a short time before returning to Sydney.

INXS

In 1977, Hutchence joined a new band called the Farriss Brothers, consisting of Andrew, Tim, and Jon Farriss, Garry Beers, and Kirk Pengilly. The group regularly supported the rock band Midnight Oil on the pub rock circuit. In 1979, the Farriss Brothers were renamed INXS. The following year, INXS released its self-titled debut album. Following that were 1981’s “Underneath the Colours” and 1982’s “Shabooh Shoobah.” With its fourth studio album, 1984’s “The Swing,” INXS achieved its first number-one charting album in Australia. Three more consecutive number-ones followed: 1985’s “Listen Like Thieves,” 1987’s “Kick,” and 1990’s “X.” Particularly successful internationally was “Kick,” which peaked at number three in the US and number nine in the UK; it also spawned the hit singles “New Sensation,” “Never Tear Us Apart,” “Devil Inside,” and “Need You Tonight.”

In 1992, INXS went in a different musical direction with the album “Welcome to Wherever You Are,” which features sitars and a 60-piece orchestra. Notably, it was the first album by an Australian musical act to debut at number one in the UK since AC/DC’s “Back in Black” in 1980. However, the album performed less well in other countries, and marked the beginning of INXS’s commercial decline. Next came “Full Moon, Dirty Hearts,” which was released in 1993. After a period of inactivity, INXS returned in 1997 with the album “Elegantly Wasted,” the final one to include Hutchence before his death later in the year.

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Max Q

During the peak of INXS’s success, Hutchence formed the side project Max Q with Ollie Olsen. The two were joined by key members of Melbourne’s post-punk scene, including Michael Sheridan and John Murphy. In 1989, Max Q released its only album, which was self-titled. The album contained the songs “Way of the World” and “Sometimes,” both minor hits in Australia. Max Q ended up disbanding in 1990.

Solo Career

As a solo artist, Hutchence began work on a studio album in 1995. The self-titled album wasn’t released until 1999, two years after his death. It peaked at number three on the Australian Albums chart.

Acting

In addition to his music, Hutchence acted in some films. He starred in the 1986 Australian film “Dogs in Space” as the drug-addled frontman of a fictional band, and contributed four songs to the film’s soundtrack. The year after that, Hutchence had a brief part in the supernatural horror film “The Lost Boys.” In 1990, he portrayed Romantic poet Percy Shelley in Roger Corman’s “Frankenstein Unbound,” based on the novel by Brian Aldiss.

Personal Life and Death

Hutchence was infamous for his many public fights and various romantic relationships. He dated such celebrities as Kylie Minogue, Belinda Carlisle, Kym Wilson, and Helene Christensen. In the mid-1990s, Hutchence began a relationship with British television presenter Paula Yates, who was then married to singer-songwriter Bob Geldorf. The affair became a major subject in the tabloids, eventually leading to Geldorf’s highly publicized separation from Yates in 1995 and their ensuing custody battle over their daughters. In the summer of 1996, Hutchence had a daughter with Yates.

While on tour in late 1997 with INXS, Hutchence was found dead in his hotel room in Sydney. Over the previous days, he had been distraught about not being able to see his daughter, as the mother, Paula Yates, was entangled in a custody battle with Bob Geldorf over her other daughters and could not travel to Australia. In early 1998, an autopsy and coronial inquest revealed that Hutchence had died by suicide by hanging; he was also under the influence of alcohol and other substances.

Legacy

After Hutchence’s passing, INXS continued recording and performing until 2012.

Hutchence has been the subject of a few biographical works, including the 2000 book “Just a Man: The Real Michael Hutchence,” penned by his mother and half-sister, and the documentary films “Michael Hutchence: The Last Rockstar” and “Mystify: Michael Hutchence,” released in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

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