SYDNEY Nov 13 (Reuters) - Australian rock group INXS has called it quits as a live touring band after 35 years, thanking fans and honouring late frontman Michael Hutchence in a statement on Tuesday.
INXS, which sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, including more than 10 million alone of their 1987 breakthrough "Kick", issued the statement after comments by band member Jon Farriss during a weekend performance sparked a frenzy on Twitter.
"We understand that this must come as a blow to everybody, but all things must eventually come to an end," INXS members Tim, Andrew and Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Beers said. "We have been performing as a band for 35 years, it's time to step away from the touring arena."
"Our music will of course live on and we will always be a part of that," they added.
INXS was one of the biggest touring bands of the 1980s and 1990s, playing to 80,000 at Wembley Stadium in London and 120,000 in Rio De Janeiro.
But the death of charismatic lead singer Hutchence in 1997 was a major blow.
A U.S. TV talent show for a new frontman was won by Canadian J.D. Fortune, while Terence Trent D'Arby and Jon Stevens also had a turn at the microphone. Irishman Ciaran Gribbin was the last to take the role.
Farriss, the band's drummer, set the Internet abuzz on Sunday night after he told the audience during a support performance for U.S. band Matchbox Twenty in Perth that it was the last time INXS would perform together. Saxophone player Pengilly later told a radio station the band was not breaking up.
The group declined to comment further on Tuesday. (Reporting By Grace Williams, editing by Elaine Lies)