Not a member yet? Join APRA AMCOS

Already started a Writer Member application? Continue

Billions Award honour for INXS' Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence

Media Published Tuesday 5 October 2021
Andrew Farriss

Dua Lipa's billion-streaming hit 'Break My Heart' references INXS' #1 Billboard Hot 100 single 'Need You Tonight'.

'Need You Tonight' was co-written by Andrew Farriss and the late Michael Hutchence, they are credited songwriters on 'Break My Heart'.

'Need You Tonight' won MTV Video Music Award of the Year and launched the band and their album KICK to global success.

Legendary INXS co-writers Andrew Farriss and the late Michael Hutchence have been honoured by APRA AMCOS with a place on The 1,000,000,000 List, for their songwriting contribution to Dua Lipa's global smash 'Break My Heart,' which references the group's 1987 #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit 'Need You Tonight'. Farriss and Hutchence are credited songwriters on 'Break My Heart' and were given the award in recognition of the song surpassing more than one billion streams across all major streaming services Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.

Farriss received his award at home in regional New South Wales and representatives of Hutchence's estate accepted the award on the lead singer's behalf.

The disco-pop anthem 'Break My Heart' was the third single from Lipa's 2020 album Future Nostalgia, which topped charts in more than a dozen countries, won the Brit Award for British Album of the Year and was nominated for the Grammy Album of the Year. The song is double platinum in Australia and platinum in the US and the UK. The other credited songwriters are Lipa, Ali Tamposi, Andrew Watt and Jordan Johnson and Stefan Johnson of The Monsters & Strangerz collective.

Lipa told Billboard that upon listening back to the song, the similarity to 'Need You Tonight' became apparent and Farriss and Hutchence were credited. " was only fair, and it just brought nostalgia even more to the forefront, you know?"

On receiving the honour, Farriss said, "I feel very fortunate to be presented this award recognising my music writing contribution towards a billion streams of 'Break My Heart' by Dua Lipa. I thank Michael and INXS for believing in my songwriting and thank all of those at Petrol / Universal and of course APRA AMCOS, who have supported this award."

'Need you Tonight' was the debut single and the #1 Billboard hit from INXS’ 1987 album, KICK, launching the band into global success. The song's innovative video won five MTV VMAs, including Video of the Year, and has featured on radio and TV around the world consistently over the last three decades. The single is on the band's INXS The Very Best, which recently achieved ARIA Chart diamond status and set the all-time record for an ARIA Chart run with 486 non-consecutive weeks – equal to a full-nine years – on the Top 100 Albums Chart.

"The story behind the writing of ‘Need You Tonight’ highlights the electricity in Andrew and Michael’s songwriting relationship. The KICK album, and 'Need You Tonight' defined a time, sound and confidence – and for those of us who were there, hearing that riff immediately locates you.

"It’s wonderful to be able to acknowledge and congratulate the songwriting artistry of Andrew and the greatly missed Michael. The song remains fresh and captivating, and it’s wonderful to see it inspiring a new generation of songwriters and artists. Dua Lipa’s ‘Break My Heart’ is a fantastic song and honours the lasting impact of ‘Need You Tonight,” said APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston.

Awards were given to the publishers of 'Need You Tonight': Universal Music Publishing/INXS Publishing for Farriss and Warner Chappell for Hutchence.

"Andrew Farriss is one of Universal Music Publishing’s all-time greatest songwriters. Andrew receiving an APRA AMCOS Billions Award for Dua Lipa’s 'Break My Heart' continues to show how timeless, and special, his songwriting is for all generations," said Evan Lamberg, President, North America, Universal Music Publishing Group.

Andrew Farriss remembers when inspiration struck for 'Need You Tonight':

With songwriting for the KICK album, whilst on a tour bus in Germany, INXS made a decision for Michael and myself to write all the songs for the KICK album, as our songwriting collaboration had so far been the most successful.

There were two separate songwriting blocks - scheduled breaks whilst recording - to write songs - wisely suggested by record producer Chris Thomas.

Along with other KICK album songs, I was working on a new funk song and riff using a Roland 707 drum machine loop I programmed, my old '56 Fender Strat and an Emulator keyboard bass sample on my 8-track analog tape recorder.

I called a cab to catch a flight from Sydney to fly to Hong Kong to meet Michael to show him the song and lyric ideas I had. The cab arrived and I suddenly found myself caught in an anxious situation as I had literally just written the riff for 'Need You Tonight' and I knew what I was writing was somehow important. I asked the cabbie to wait but he was like, "Mate, I've got other people waiting, I've gotta go."

So, I ran off a mix onto a cassette tape with other KICK songs, grabbed the cassette and half-packed suitcase, locked the door and climbed in the cab. I flew to Hong Kong, caught a cab to the studio within the Watson estate building, where Michael was waiting and he said, "What have you got?"

I played him the songs, including Need You Tonight, Michael looked excited and he said to the studio engineer, "Have you got a pad and a mic?" scribbled a lyric and sang the song known as 'Need You Tonight'.

When we returned to Sydney to meet the band in the studio, Chris Thomas really liked the songs, and he used the original demo of 'Need You Tonight' (and 'Mediate') that we worked on in Hong Kong.

It was crazy good how 'Need You Tonight' - and indeed the whole KICK album came together. I’m forever grateful to the other INXS band members for believing in our songs..."

As a country artist, Farriss recently released his self-titled solo album, featuring the new single and video for 'Son of a Gun' and bonus track 'Apache Track'.

The 1,000,000,000 List takes into account streaming numbers from all major services Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. It is the first award of its kind to recognise a songwriter’s achievement.

Dua Lipa - Break My Heart

INXS - Need You Tonight

Andrew Farriss - The 1,000,000,000 List