INXS hailed from the pubs of Australia, which is part of the reason the band never comfortably fit in with new wave. Even when they branched out into synth pop on their early recordings, they were underpinned by a hard, Stonesy beat and lead singer Michael Hutchence's Jagger-esque strut. Ultimately, these were the very things that made INXS into international superstars in the late '80s. By that time, the group had harnessed its hard rock, dance, and new wave influences into a sleek, stylish groove that made its 1987 album, Kick, a multi-million-selling hit. While that sound was their key to stardom, it also proved to be their undoing; INXS became boxed in by their Stonesy pop-funk in the early '90s, when their audience became entranced by harder-edged alternative rock. In spite of declining sales, they soldiered on, continuing to tour and record for a dedicated fan base until Hutchence's 1997 death brought the band's heyday to a close.