Boy George is reapplying his make-up after a long intermission. He has been missing in action and away from center stage for nearly three decades. Although his name has resurfaced from time to time, mostly due to his trouble with the law, the entertainer has not enjoyed the cheers from his fans in quite some time. Boy George, now age 52, is ready to reapply his mascara and hit the road with a summer tour.
Boy George, who gained popularity in the early 80’s with the group Culture Club, is making up for lost time as he has reinvented himself. He has experienced his share of personal and emotional trials over the years, many due to his own bad choices, but is feeling renewed and ready to start over. He has released a new album entitled This Is What I Do and is embarking on a summer tour. His first gig will be on Monday April 28 at The Fillmore in San Francisco. Traveling on to Los Angeles, concerts are scheduled for Canada, France, Belgium and Greece, with many more to follow.
Growing up in a large Irish family, the singer found ways to stand out in his crowd of siblings and gain attention. He took to wearing make-up and fancy clothes, which eventually got him expelled from school. Jumping from odd job to job, George Alan O’Dowd became Boy George and settled comfortably into the music business. His natural singing talent and flair for excitement drew the attention of music producers and fans alike.
Success followed quickly as the headliner for Culture Club with fellow band members Jon Moss, Roy Hay and Mikey Craig. The group found themselves at the top of Billboard charts and in demand from concerts and adoring fans. Boy George wrote many of group’s songs, drawing from personal experience, hopes and dreams. The 80’s ushered in The New Romantic Movement in music, and Culture Club was a leader with such hits as Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
Boy George has always been quite colorful in his expression, wearing make-up, heavy eyeliner and mascara, hats, jewelry and gaudy outfits. His fashion statements no doubt have given Lady Gaga a few ideas. With much success and fame, the money poured in. His spending habits included expensive drugs and alcohol. It was a constant party leaving Boy George hooked on heroin. After some near misses and personal upsets, the band broke up in 1986.
The disappearance of Culture Club left fans high and dry as new groups slowly filled their spot. Boy George continued with music from behind the scenes as he went on to become a well known disc jockey. He had almost become a chameleon himself, blending into the normal crowd. Gaining lots of weight, not wearing make-up and fancy clothes, Boy George started losing his identity.
In 2005, he was arrested for suspected cocaine possession in Manhattan. By 2006, community service was the consequence as he was reduced to picking up trash in New York City. He did not escape notice as his photo appeared in tabloids around the world. He was in the limelight once again, but not true to form. The experience served as a wake-up call and a jump start to reinvent himself.
Boy George has turned a new leaf, as he has lost the weight mostly with a vegan diet. He has been sober for nearly six and a half years and is grateful for a new lease on life. Boy George is reapplying his make-up after a long intermission as the colorful entertainer has requested his own encore and sets off on a summer tour.
By: Roanne FitzGibbon