Jon Rangi Stevenson was born in New Zealand and was raised in Upper Hutt, where he used to play rugby league. He formed his first band while at Heretaunga College. Stevens moved to Australia after success as a pop star in New Zealand in the 1970s (his best-known songs from this era are "Jezebel" and a cover version of "Montego Bay"); he subsequently became an Australian citizen.
Stevens is most recognised for his work as the lead singer of Sydney band Noiseworks. The band experienced success in the 1980s with "Take Me Back" and "Touch". In July 2012, Jon teamed up with production outfit Silver Sneakerz for a dance remix of Noiseworks' 1988 hit "Touch". It was released on dance label Hussle Recordings (a division of Ministry of Sound).
From 2000 to 2003, Stevens fronted Australian rock band INXS after the death of their lead singer Michael Hutchence. Stevens toured with the band for a year before he was officially announced as their lead singer in March 2002, prior to a 40-city US tour.
The Stevens-fronted INXS released a song in 2003 called "I Get Up," but he quit the band in October of that year before an album was released. Stevens explained in a May 2009 interview that his departure from the band was due to a creative lull:
After 3½ years I'd had enough - the creativity was too slow. I had too much going on with my own stuff and I just said, "No". No need to be going away for months on end, away from home, away from family. It's hard to justify it when you're just playing other people's songs.
Stevens was part of three Australian productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, and played the character of Judas twice. On the third occasion, during the 2013 live arena tour, he played the character of Pontius Pilate.
In 2005, Stevens released "The Works", recorded as part of the Liberation Blue acoustic series. After a national tour with Ian Moss and Choirboys— "Six Strings & The Works"—he completed a smaller acoustic tour, followed by a short break and an announcement that Noiseworks were preparing to tour again in late September 2007.
After two months on the road across Australia, Stevens took a break. In January 2008, Stevens's management confirmed plans for a massive national tour with Ian Moss, Jack Jones and Tania Doko. The tour was entitled 'Let's Get Together' and was scheduled to begin in Melbourne in April 2008, following Stevens's acoustic tour of regional Victoria with Australian country music singer Adam Brand.
In August 2011, Stevens released a new single "Just A Man" to Australian radio. A new solo album on new record label Universal Music Australia, called Changing Times, was scheduled for release in September 2011.
In November 2011, Universal Music Australia revealed that a new album of soul music cover versions, called Testify!, would be released. The lead single, which was released on Australian radio in the last week of October 2011, is also called "Testify".
The Dead Daisies
Steven is a member of The Dead Daisies who also feature Charley Drayton (drums), Richard Fortus (guitars), Marco Mendoza (bass), David Lowy (guitars), Clayton Doley (Hammond organ), Alex Carapetis (drums) and Alan Mansfield (keyboards).
In early 2013 The Dead Daisies were invited to open for ZZ Top in Australia.
The first single released in April 2013 was "Lock N Load" featuring Slash, with an accompanying short film released in May 2013. As of the date of the single release, the band were recording their debut album.
The Dead Daisies opened for Aerosmith during the Australasian leg of their 2013 'Global Warming Tour' and, in addition to the original songs on the setlist, performed three cover versions: "All Right Now", by Free, "Stay With Me", by The Faces and "Helter Skelter", by The Beatles.
The Dead Daisies’ self-titled debut album was released in the US and Canada through Caroline/Universal on 9 August to exceptional reviews and was a featured iTunes release. Their first single "Lock ’N’ Load", a new track co-written by and featuring legendary guitarist Slash received airplay on radio networks across the US including national airplay on SiriusXM satellite radio, both Alice Cooper’s and Nikki Sixx’s popular syndicated radio programs and was named Rolling Stone’s Daily Download.
In August and September 2013 the Dead Daisies were part of the massive 25-date Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival through the US and Canada a long side Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Coheed and Cambria and Circa Survive. The Dead Daisies Uproar line-up featured Jon Stevens, David Lowy, Americans Richard Fortus (Guns N' Roses/Thin Lizzy) on guitar, Frank Ferrer (Guns N' Roses/Psychedelic Furs) on drums, Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake) on bass and Dizzy Reed (Guns N' Roses) on keyboards.
The second single from The Dead Daisies, "Washington" was released.
November - December 2013 saw The Dead Daisies opening on US and UK dates with Black Star Riders. The Dead Daisies Uproar line-up featured Jon Stevens, David Lowy, Americans Richard Fortus (Guns N' Roses/Thin Lizzy) on guitar, Charley Drayton (X-Pensive Wino's/Cold Chisel/The Cult) on drums, Darryl Jones (Miles Davis/The Rolling Stones) on bass and Dizzy Reed (Guns N' Roses) on keyboards. They also had their own headlining show at Underworld, Camden London on 20 November 2013.
During their time in the US, The Dead Daisies recorded 4 tracks, including a cover of The Beatles Helter Skelter (which the band have been playing live) alongside 3 new recordings.
As of 2014, Darryl Jones will be returning to his duties with The Rolling Stones, so it is not certain as to who will be playing bass for The Dead Daisies in 2014.
In 2004 Stevens hosted the short-lived reality television "docu-soap" "The Resort". Produced by New Zealand (NZ) company Touchdown Television, the program was axed following its fifth week of production. Promoted as The Block (another Australian reality programme) in paradise, the concept of the series involved 15 young contestants building and staffing a Fiji holiday resort.
In 2012, Stevens is listed as a supporter of the "Oscar's Law" campaign, together with other publicly known figures. The campaign protests against the factory farming of companion animals and is named after a neglected dog found in central Victoria, Australia. Other notable supporters include Mark McEntee (musician), Mick Molloy (comedian) and the Essendon Football Club (Australian Football League).
- Jezebel (1980): NZ #7
- Are U Satisfied (1993): AUS #27
- Circle (1995)
- Ain't No Life For The Faint Hearted (2004)
- The Works (2005)
- Changing Times (2011)
- Testify! (2011)
- Jezebel (1979): NZ #1
- Montego Bay (1980): NZ #1
- Loving You (Is A Way Of Life) (1980): NZ #28
- Wages Of Love / Don't Let Love Go (duet with Sharon O'Neill) (1980): NZ #5
- Everything's Alright (with John Farhnam & Kate Ceberano) (1992) AUS #6 (from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar)
- Superstar (1992): AUS #55 (from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar)
- Going Down (1993): AUS #39
- When? (1994)
- Last One Standing For You (with The Black Sorrows) (1994): AUS #46
- I Wish It Would Rain Down (1995): NZ #49
- Carry The Flame (2000)
- I Get Up (with INXS) (2003): AUS #72
- Light My Fire (2004)
- Just A Man (2011)
- Testify (2011)
- Touch (dance remix) (2012): with Silver Sneakerz
The Dead Daisies
- Lock N Load (2013): featuring Slash
- Man Overboard EP (2013)
- Washington (2013)
- The Dead Daisies (2013)
- Jesus Christ Superstar (1992) AUS #1
- Paul Cashmere (18 November 2013). "Noise 11: The Dead Daisies". Retrieved 23 February 2014.
- Magazine Editor (28 July 2013). "ET Magazine: Jon Stevens & Noiseworks". Retrieved 23 February 2014.
- ABC (27 January 2011). "ABC: Jon Stevens Escorted Off Flight". Retrieved 23 February 2014.
- Ministry of Sound. "Ministry Of Sound: Silver Sneakers Feat. Jon Stevens". Retrieved 23 February 2014.
- Stephanie Marcucci (3 March 2002). "INXS TO TOUR U.S. WITH NEW LEAD SINGER". HOLLYWOOD.COM. HOLLYWOOD.COM, LLC. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "INXS – I Get Up". Discogs. Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- Nath Martyn (11 April 2012). "INXS: Keeping It Together". Scene. Eyeball Media Pty Ltd. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "My time with INXS was boring, says singer Jon Stevens". The Daily Telegraph. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "Kate Ceberano – Kate Ceberano & Friends". Discogs. Discogs. 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- "2000, English, Printed music edition: Carry the flame / music and lyrics by Barbara Griffin and Jon Stevens. [music] /". National Library of Australia Trove. National Library of Australia. 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- Larissa Dubecki (20 March 2004). "Ten axes The Resort as ratings plummet". The Age. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- "Home". Oscar's law. Oscar's Law. 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
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