The 1997 tragedy cut so deep it made the Irish rockers reconsider their lives and how they were living them, and it really impacted Adam Clayton, who was battling alcohol and mental health issues.
"On Stuck in A Moment, I think most people know this is about our friend Michael Hutchence, the singer in INXS, he was someone who we used to always see in the summers," Clayton told RTE 2FM's Tracy Clifford. "I suppose it can happen to anyone, one small mistake, and his life started to veer off in a direction that was somewhat out of control. I don't think any of us realised how alone and how vulnerable he was."
"He lost his life right before an INXS tour, and as fellow musicians and minstrels and performers, that cut very deep in us and I suppose it made us feel very grateful that in our band, it really is the four of us that look out for each other."
"I think what it underlined is that very often, you just don't know what's happening in people's lives. If there's anyone listening to this going through something similar, and I know these times are very difficult, if you can reach out to someone, tell them what's going on. If you can just not go through it on your own, there are people out there to help."
Hutchence's death was one of the things that prompted Clayton to clean up his act, revealing that U2's album "All That You Can't Leave Behind" was the first he recorded sober.
"It was a new departure," he explained. "It was the first time I think I'd recorded a record completely stone-cold sober, and to a degree, I was white-knuckling it. The songs really do mean something coming from that period in my life. Particularly in the light of Michael Hutchence's story, I really feel like I was one of the lucky ones."
Adam added, "It took a long time to realise really what a mess I'd made. Eventually, when the penny did drop, I was just fed up of making excuses to myself and other people. I had to face that actually instead of thinking that drinking was the thing that got me through life, it was actually the thing that was holding me back."