No doubt about it, J.D. Fortune is a bad boy.
His outspoken, tell-it-like-it-is attitude stirred controversy last summer on CBS' reality show "Rock Star: INXS." But his unapologetic passion to front the Australian rock outfit paid off. The 32-year-old Canadian, who had lived out of his car and worked as an Elvis impersonator before "Rock Star," now is on the second leg of a North American tour as lead singer of the multiplatinum band.
While the INXS tour bus made its way across Ontario, Canada, this week, RedEye talked to Fortune about his new life, new girls and new tattoos.
Is being INXS' frontman all you thought it would be?
It's even more. Just being able to play music and not have to worry about the things that I worried about before: paying the bills, where am I going to live, food. I mean, this is a really great opportunity as long as you're able to play music. That's what's great about it: It's just being able to do what you are designed to do.
What keeps you grounded?
Right now what keeps me grounded is not being able to see [his mom and sister] because I miss them so much. I see them at shows, but it's very fleeting. I know this won't last forever. I'm just very grateful, and gracious and humbled that it's happening to me.
What are your favorite songs to perform?
I love performing "Never Let You Go"-I think that's really fun-and "Need You Tonight." I think all of them are really strong, but "Never Tear Us Apart" is just a great way to end an evening.
The video for "Afterglow" features fellow Canadian Estella Warren. Are you guys still dating?
Uh, no, actually. Estella, she's friends with everybody in the band, so I talked to her about a month ago. She's shooting a movie in Hong Kong. Uh, yeah, we're just buds.
The band's album ("Switch") features a song called "Hot Girls," and Maxim magazine recently released its Hot 100 list. Which hot girls would make your top five?
Oh, wow. I'd have to say Scarlett Johansson, she's up there. Those Olsen twins are pretty cute [laughs]. I wouldn't necessarily call them hot, though. Um, I haven't even had time, I haven't even thought about hot girls. Kylie Minogue, she's hot. And um, she's got that really cool name, she's in "Alexander" ... Rosario Dawson, she's [bleep] beautiful.
What are your groupies like?
It's actually gotten quite full-on. There were 2,000 people at this bar last night that just came from the show. ... It's a little dangerous. People like to get grabbing me, but yeah, the more the merrier. Let's have a party, you know?
Your tattoos seem to get some women going. Gotten any new ones recently?
[Laughs] I did get one. It's in a naughty place. But I can't tell you much more than that. If you saw it you'd know: "Yeah, it's a tattoo all right." I can't tell you. [Laughs.] It's of a word. And it hurt like hell.
Karen Budell is the metromix nightlife producer. Originally published May 19, 2006.