Born George O'Dowd
on June 14th. 1961 in Eltham, Kent, England, he began to
frequent the 'New Romantic' club scene in London during the
early 1980s. His (for the era) outrageous cross-dressing
attire and make-up soon began to get him regular notices in
popular magazines such as The Face and Blitz.
McClaren (pop guru) was impressed and arranged for him to
appear alongside Bow Wow Wow's Annabella Lu Win as Lieutenant
Lush at London's Rainbow Theatre. Although short-lived, this
partnership gave George the much needed publicity. Soon, with
the help of dj Mikey Craig, the band 'In Praise Of Lemmings'
the addition of Adam And The Ants drummer, Jon Moss, and
guitar / keyboards, Roy Hay, the band was re-named 'Culture
Club'. After failing an audition with EMI Records, they
eventually signed with Virgin in 1982. Their first UK No.1
hit, 'Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?' came later that year.
And who could ever forget their massive UK No.1 hit in 1983,
selling more than a million copies, 'Karma Chameleon'.
most people of the time, Culture Club was Boy George.
publicity, almost playing with the media. Stories ran for days
at a time in
Press (and on Television and Radio) debating whether he was
indeed a real boy or not. Many had suspected a 'butch' girl.
Then came the questions about his sexual preferences. At
first, with such an obviously over-the-top 'tongue in cheek'
attitude, he would say very little that could confirm their
suspicions; but soon he became quite open about his
homosexuality. It mattered little to his many fans. He could
do no wrong until, following a police enquiry at his home, the
Press started to run stories linking him with drugs.
just one week after teasing journalists about his addiction
(and calling himself 'your favourite junkie'), Michael
Rudetski, a visiting keyboard player from New York, died of a
heroin overdose at George's London home. George was later
arrested on a charge of possession of cannabis.
successful treatment for his dependence on drugs, the band
Culture Club was dissolved and, publicly denouncing drugs,
George embarked on a solo career. His debut with the cover of
'Everything I Own' in 1987 gave him the first UK No.1 since
'Karma Chameleon'. He formed 'More Protein', his own record
label in 1989 and fronted the band 'Jesus Loves You' .
vigorously opposed the government's anti-gay bill, Clause 28,
and expressed his opinion to that effect at every opportunity
with many of his songs openly decrying it, appearances on chat
shows, guest radio spots, even being a panellist on 'Question
Club was reformed in 1998 debuting with, 'I Just Wanna Be
Loved' hitting No.4 in the UK Charts.
Starring at UK Gay
Pride (now called Mardi Gras) year after year (and also in
EuroPride) Boy George has earned his place in most gay
people's hearts. A true gay icon, who with his WYSIWYG style
is often referred to as a modern day Quentin Crisp. He is now
also a much sought after and famed DJ in his own right.
Boy George's hit new musical at The Venue, London went from
success to success. George,
Leigh Bowery (Stephen Ashfield plays Boy George) and extended
his appearances until April 26th '03.
Boy George An Awesome Talent.
- Boy George (on sex): "I'd rather have a cup of tea."
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