Lee's INXS success
By BREE PRICE
IN HIS bid to become the next lead singer of INXS, Lee Smith knew his eerie similarity to former front man Michael Hutchence would work in his favour.
Lee, 28, was among the thousands of people from around the world who auditioned for the lead role through the reality TV program, Rock Star, that airs on Australian television later this year.
Lee reached the Australian top 25.
"I was about 16 when I was told I looked a little bit like Michael Hutchence and that I moved a bit like him on stage," the Uralba resident said.
"My father sang with a band called Index before INXS came out, and INXS ended up supporting my dad's band.
"My father passed away four years ago and I know he is proud of me. I believe he's up there watching me and probably having a chat with Michael Hutchence about it."
The former Richmond River High School student has been singing and song-writing since he was 14 and has been a prominent figure on the Northern Rivers band scene, particularly with his band, Spirit, who played at last year's New Year's Eve celebrations at Lennox Head.
After mailing in an audition tape, Lee was asked to skip the cattle call auditions that saw thousands of people line up in Sydney, and went straight into a closed audition with the band members and music producers.
He said although he didn't land the lead singer gig, he wasn't bitterly disappointed.
"I left my demo with Mark Opitz, one of the world's biggest producers," Lee said.
"I'd love to release a solo acoustic album next."
The 20 Rock Star finalists will go to Hollywood where they will live together as they compete for the top spot and the opportunity to record an album with the band.
But Rock Star will differ from other reality TV talent shows, in that the winner will be chosen by the band members and the public.