By now you’ve probably heard that reality show winner J.D. Fortune claims he was dropped as frontman of INXS after an 18 month tour around the world.
Fortune, a Toronto-area singer who used to live in his car, says the band left him at an airport in Hong Kong, shook his hand and wished him well. He claims he had to find his own way back to Canada and is bewildered by this turn of events.
The band has shot back via a spokesman by saying the whole scenario, including the location, has been invented by JDF. Essentially they say he was contracted to go on tour and now the tour is over.
JD’s story was the ultimate rags-to-riches tale. He won Rock Star INXS, a grittier Idol-like competition to “replace” former lead singer Michael Hutchence on the band’s comeback trip around the world. He seemed like a cool dude. But he wasn’t mentally prepared for going from obscure homelessness to performing for tens of thousands of shrieking fans in no time at all.
A promotional rep., who shall remain nameless, told me about the challenges of dealing with JD, who was performing at a venue she managed just a few scant months after winning the gig. She literally had to follow him down the hallway to make sure he got where he was supposed to go. He apparently had a tendency to wander away and disappear. “He was high all the time”, she said. It was a sad story. Suddenly he had pockets full of cash and he couldn’t think of anything smarter to do with them than spend them on drugs. Similar stories emerged from several locations, even if they never made media headlines.
Now Fortune says he’s relying on the kindness of friends and their couches for places to spend the night. He’s broke and has a solo album waiting for release that no one will back, financially. The band says it had further plans for J.D. but now that he has badmouthed them on an international scale, they don’t want anything to do with him. A year and a half on a top-level concert tour, and now he’s right back where he started.