Boy George (born George Alan O'Dowd; 14 June 1961) is an English singer, songwriter, DJ and fashion designer. He is the lead singer of the pop band Culture Club. At the height of the band's fame, during the 1980s, they recorded global hit songs such as "Karma Chameleon", "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" and "Time (Clock of the Heart)". George is known for his soulful voice and his androgynous appearance. He was part of the English New Romantic movement which emerged in the late 1970s to the early 1980s.
Boy George in 2014
George Alan O'Dowd
14 June 1961
His music is often classified as blue-eyed soul, which is influenced by rhythm and blues and reggae. He was lead singer of Jesus Loves You during the period 1989–1992. His 1990s and 2000s-era solo music has glam influences, such as David Bowie and Iggy Pop. More recently, he has released fewer music recordings, splitting his time between songwriting, DJing, writing books, designing clothes and photography. In 2015, Boy George received an Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for Outstanding Services to British Music.
Early life, family and career
Boy George was born George Alan O'Dowd at Barnehurst Hospital, Kent, England, on 14 June 1961 and raised in Woolwich, the second of five children born to builder Gerry O'Dowd (born Jeremiah Lincoln 1932, died 2004) and Dinah O'Dowd (born Christina Glynn in 1939). He was raised in a working-class Irish Catholic family; his father was born in England of Irish descent and his mother is from Dublin. He has one older brother Kevin, as well as two younger brothers Gerald and David and a younger sister Siobhan. George also has an older half-brother Richard, who was born out of wedlock in Dublin in 1957 when his mother was just 18; she moved to London with him to start a new life and escape the stigma of being an unmarried mother.
George has compared his family history to a "sad Irish song." His maternal grandmother was permanently taken from her family at age 6 after being found outside the family home alone, and placed into an Industrial School. His great uncle Thomas Bryan was executed by the British in 1921 during the Irish War of Independence. According to George's mother, who published a memoir in 2007, Gerry O'Dowd was physically and mentally abusive and beat her even when she was pregnant with George. George said of his father, "He was a terrible father and a terrible husband." In 1995, George's youngest brother Gerald, who suffers from schizophrenia, was convicted of killing his wife in an episode of paranoia.
George was a follower of the New Romantic movement, which was popular in the UK in the early 1980s. He lived in various squats around Warren Street in Central London. He and his friend Marilyn were regulars at Blitz, a London nightclub run by Steve Strange and Rusty Egan. The pop artists that inspired him were Siouxsie and the Banshees, Roxy Music, Patti Smith, and the two major glam rock pioneers, David Bowie and T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan.
Boy George's androgynous style of dressing caught the attention of music entrepreneur Malcolm McLaren (previously the manager of the Sex Pistols), who arranged for George to perform with the group Bow Wow Wow. Going by the stage name Lieutenant Lush, his tenure with Bow Wow Wow proved problematic with lead singer Annabella Lwin. George eventually left the group and started his own band with bassist Mikey Craig. They were joined by Jon Moss (who had drumming stints with the Damned and Adam and the Ants) and then guitarist Roy Hay. Originally they were named Sex Gang Children, but realising they had a cross-dressing Irish singer (George), a black-Briton (Craig), a Jewish drummer (Moss) and an ethnic Englishman (Hay), they settled on the name Culture Club, referring to the various ethnic backgrounds of the members.
The band recorded demos that were paid for by EMI Records, but the label declined to sign them. Virgin Records expressed interest in signing the group in the UK for European releases, while Epic Records handled the US and North American distribution. They recorded their debut album Kissing to Be Clever (UK No. 5, US No. 14,) and it was released in 1982. The single "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?", became an international hit, reaching No. 1 in a dozen countries around the world, plus top ten in several more countries (US No. 2). This was followed by the Top 5 hit "Time" in the US and UK, and "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" which reached US No. 9. This gave Culture Club the distinction of being the first group since the Beatles to have three Top 10 hits in the US from a debut album.
Their next album, Colour By Numbers was an enormous success, topping the UK charts and hit No. 2 in the US. The single "Church of the Poison Mind" became a Top 10 hit, and "Karma Chameleon" became an international hit, peaking at No. 1 in 16 countries, and the top ten in additional countries. It hit No. 1 in the US where it stayed for three weeks. It was the best-selling single of the year in the United Kingdom, where it spent six weeks at No. 1. "Victims" and "It's a Miracle" were further Top 5 UK hits, while "Miss Me Blind" reached the Top 5 in the US.
The band's third album Waking Up with the House on Fire (UK No. 2, US No. 26) was not as big a hit as its predecessors. Although the first single, "The War Song", was a No.2 hit in the UK, further singles performed below expectations. George then provided a lead vocal role on the Band Aid international hit single "Do They Know It's Christmas". The single featured mostly British and Irish musical acts, and proceeds from the song were donated to feed famine victims in Africa during the 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia. Unlike many of the bands featured on the single, Culture Club did not perform at Live Aid in July 1985.
In 1986, George performed a guest-starring cameo role in an episode of the television series The A-Team titled "Cowboy George". Also in 1986, Culture Club released their fourth album, From Luxury to Heartache (UK No. 10, US No. 32) which featured the hit single, "Move Away". However, word shortly began circulating in tabloids that George was addicted to drugs. He was arrested in Britain for possession of cannabis. With George's drug addiction, the underwhelming performance of their last two albums, a soured romance between band members shrouded in secrecy, and a wrongful death lawsuit looming, the group ultimately disbanded.
In July 1998, a reunited Culture Club performed three dates in Monte Carlo and then joined the Human League and Howard Jones in a "Big Rewind" tour of the US. The following month, the band appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and made an appearance in Britain, their first in 14 years. Later that year, the band hit the UK charts at No.4 with "I Just Wanna Be Loved" and later a top 25 hit with "Your Kisses are Charity". A new Culture Club album, Don't Mind If I Do, was released in 1999 but was a commercial failure.
In 2006, the band decided to again reunite and tour, but George declined to join them. As a result, two members of Culture Club replaced him with vocalist Sam Butcher. George expressed his displeasure. After only one showcase and one live show, the project was shelved.
On 27 January 2011, George announced to the BBC that there would be a 30th anniversary Culture Club reunion tour sometime later in the year, and that they would be releasing a new album in 2012. Although the 2011 tour never took place, Culture Club did play two live concerts, in Dubai and Sydney, the latter being a New Year's Eve concert. In interviews given shortly before the concerts, the group confirmed that they were indeed recording new material, though this has yet to surface.
On 20 May 2014, it was announced on several Boy George pages on Facebook, as well as the official Culture Club page on the same social network, that the band were back together. A new picture of the four members was also posted, along with a list of 11 concert dates through the UK. Alison Moyet would be a special guest at the concerts. The band were scheduled to perform dates in America in 2014 before the UK tour in December.
The band was scheduled to tour New Zealand in 2016. Tickets were sold for performances in Christchurch and Auckland. In November 2016, in a pre-tour interview on TVNZ, Boy George walked out after the interviewer asked him about his 2009 criminal conviction. The band then cancelled its Christchurch performance, saying it was due to changes in its international touring schedule. It was also reported that the cancellation was due to a lack of ticket sales. Later in November, the December performance in Auckland was also cancelled.
Solo career: late 1980s
After the dissolution of Culture Club in 1986, Boy George entered treatment and was prescribed narcotics to treat his addiction to heroin. He then became addicted to the prescription narcotics that were used during his treatment. In 1987, George released his first solo album, Sold, which garnered mild success in Europe. It spawned the UK singles "Everything I Own" (UK No. 1), "Keep Me in Mind" (UK No. 29), "To Be Reborn" (UK No. 13), and the title song, "Sold" (UK No. 24). The singles were also hits in various other European countries. The album's success, however, was not duplicated in America. This may have been due in part to the fact that George was prohibited by US authorities from travelling to the United States for several years because of his British drug charges. He was therefore unable to be in America to help promote the album.
George did score his first solo US Top 40 hit with the single "Live My Life" (US No. 40) from the soundtrack to the film Hiding Out. Tense Nervous Headache (1988) and Boyfriend (1989) would be his next two internationally released albums; however, these two albums would not be distributed in the US. Instead, Virgin Records selected several songs from each of these albums for a North American-only release called High Hat (1989). High Hat scored a US Top 5 R&B hit in "Don't Take My Mind on a Trip", produced by Teddy Riley. George's next single in the UK was "No Clause 28 (Emilio Pasqez Space Face Full Remix)", a protest song against a legal provision banning local authorities from promoting homosexuality. The song was an underground acid house hit.
Solo career: 1990s
In 1989, George formed his own record label, More Protein, and began recording under the name Jesus Loves You, writing under the pseudonym Angela Dust, a word play on angel dust. He released several underground hits in the early 1990s; "After the Love", "Generations of Love" and "Bow Down Mister", the last giving him a UK Top 30 hit in 1991. Inspired by his involvement in the Hare Krishna movement (ISKCON), George had written the song during a trip to India. Another single, "One on One", featured a remix by Massive Attack.
From March 1990 to April 1991, George presented a weekly chat and music show on the Power Station satellite channel called Blue Radio. In 1992, George had a major US and UK hit with the song "The Crying Game", from the soundtrack for the film of the same name. The film became a surprise hit and the single reached the No. 15 in the US. Although he had had several solo hits in Europe, this would be Boy George's biggest US hit since Culture Club's "Move Away" reached the US Top 20 six years previous.
He has also enjoyed a second career as a notable music DJ. His first gig as a DJ was at Phillip Sallon's new nightclub, Planets, located in London's Piccadilly. In the 1990s he came to the attention of legendary rave/house promoters Fantazia who asked him to mix 1 of the discs on the 2 volume in their new compilation series Fantazia The House Collection 2. This compilation was a success in the UK, going gold. The album was also sold to Sony for European-wide release. London nightclub Ministry of Sound hired him to compile one of their first CDs, and it promptly sold 100,000 copies. He then completed some compilations for them, five of them being the Annual I to V. In 1993, George was featured on the P.M. Dawn single "More Than Likely" which became a moderate US and UK hit.
George released the rock-driven album Cheapness and Beauty in 1995, but the album was not successful, although the single "Same Thing in Reverse" became a minor US hit. The Unrecoupable One Man Bandit – Volume One was the next album release, first being sold on the internet only then distributed by independent labels. Another project from the time was a new group that would include Boy George and two long-time musicians, John Themis and Ritchie Stevens. Initially named 'Shallow', it was later renamed 'Dubversive'. The project took place in 1997 and was to include trip-hop, dub and reggae. The project was not picked up by any major labels but some of the songs were later included on the 2002 Culture Club Box Set, and some others appeared on eBay in 2004.
On some other labels, several dance-oriented songs were released in various countries. For example, "Love Is Leaving" went Top 3 in Italy and "When Will You Learn" reached the top position in the Swiss charts. "When Will You Learn" was also nominated for the Best Dance Recording, at the Grammy Awards. In 1999, Boy George collaborated on songs with dance-oriented acts. For example, "Why Go?", a slow-paced track with Faithless, from their Sunday 8pm LP, was later released in a remixed form in some European countries and Australia. A track was done with Groove Armada, named "Innocence is Lost", but was only released on a promo 12" in 1999.
Solo career: 2000s
Boy George remained a figure in the public eye, starring in the London musical Taboo, based on the New Romantic scene of the early 1980s (George did not play himself, opting instead to take on the persona of Australian-born performance artist Leigh Bowery). Boy George was nominated for a Tony Award for the "Best Musical Score" and Taboo was a great success in London's West End, though a heavily altered American production produced by Rosie O'Donnell in New York City was short-lived (100 performances, versus the two-year run in London).
In 2002, Boy George released U Can Never B2 Straight, an "unplugged" collection of rare and lesser known acoustic works. It contained unreleased tracks from previous years as well as some ballads from Cheapness and Beauty and the Culture Club album Don't Mind if I Do. It received the best reviews of Boy George's solo career, many of them highlighting his strong song writing abilities. The record was only released in the UK and Japan, and reached No. 147 on the UK album charts.
From 2002 to 2004, under the pseudonym "The Twin", Boy George experimented in electronica, releasing limited edition 7" singles and promo records. The limited releases included four 7" singles, one limited 12" single (for "Sanitised") and a promo CD, a 13-track album Yum Yum. Two years later, it was released via digital outlets such as iTunes. An album recorded in the spring of 2003 was also shelved. A collaboration with electronic combo T–Total, the album was a collection of covers of songs by Jefferson Airplane, David Bowie, John Lennon, Dusty Springfield, T. Rex and Eurythmics among others.
During 2003, he presented a weekly show on London radio station LBC 97.3 for six months. He wrote the foreword for a feng shui book called Practical Feng Shui by Simon G. Brown (published in 1998). He also appeared as a guest on the British comedy-talk show The Kumars at No. 42. In March 2005 he was the guest host for an episode of The Friday Night Project, for Channel 4 television.
In 2005, George released Straight, the second volume of his autobiography. On his "More Protein" website, he also announced another album, also named Straight, for mid-2005. The album was never released but a four track sampler was released with the book of the same name. A reggaeton oriented EP was also planned for August 2006 but was never released. Some recent tracks were shared by George himself in late 2006 and early 2007 on his YouTube account, his three Myspace pages and sometimes on his official site. In January 2007, Boy George released "Time Machine" on Plan A Records. "Time Machine" was co-written by double Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter Amanda Ghost who also co-wrote "You're Beautiful" with James Blunt.
Boy George has run his own fashion line for some years, called "B-Rude". B-Rude has shown at fashion shows in London, New York and Moscow. On 24 December 2006, George appeared on a one-off BBC TV programme Duet Impossible in which he performed with himself from the 1980s and joked about his street cleaning.
Later in 2007, two electronica/dance collaborations were released in limited editions. In the spring, the track "You're Not the One" was remixed from an old demo and released with the dance combo "Loverush UK" reaching the top 20 in the UK dance chart. It was a digital-only release, available in many digital retailers like iTunes. Also on iTunes, a new collaboration with trip-hop/electro band Dark Globe, called "Atoms", was released on 19 November. The single contains eight versions, from the slow original to electro remixes by Ariya and Henrik Schwarz. Also in late 2007, an EP titled "Disco Abomination" appeared on the internet, available for download on several underground outlets. It included new remixes of tracks like "Turn 2 Dust", "Love Your Brother", and covers of "Don't Wanna See Myself" and "Go Your Own Way". Most of the versions are remixes done by German producer Kinky Roland.
On 25 February 2007, George was special guest DJ at LGBT nightspot, the Court Hotel in Perth, Australia. On 4 March 2007, he performed as a DJ at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney for the Mardi Gras Festival. On 11 May 2007, he performed as a DJ at the launch party for the Palazzo Versace in Dubai, UAE. George cancelled his planned 2007 October tour via an announcement on his official website. In 2007, he toured as a DJ, visiting many venues in locations such as Stuttgart, Rotterdam, Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Dubai, Montreal, Toronto, London, Blackpool, Coventry, Munich, Lyon, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Brussels and Moscow.
George played a special residency at the Shaw Theatre in London from 23 January 2008, followed by a full UK tour. In April 2008, The Biography Channel featured a documentary on the life of Boy George. The American tour which was planned for July/August 2008 had to be cancelled because he had been denied a United States visa due to a pending London court case scheduled for November 2008. On 2 July six concert dates in South America were announced. Boy George participated in RETROFEST held in Scotland in August 2008, and a 30-date UK tour took place in October/November 2008.
In 2009, he signed a new record deal subsequently releasing the album Ordinary Alien – The Kinky Roland Files in the autumn of 2010. The album consisted of previously recorded tracks mixed by longtime dance partner Kinky Roland. He took part in Night of the Proms, which is a series of concerts held yearly in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain which consist of a combination of pop music and popular classical music (often combined).
Solo career: 2010–present
George's 2012 appearances included the Melbourne International Arts Festival in October, both as featured guest DJ and also performing with Antony Hegarty in the festival's presentations of Swanlights, the Museum of Modern Art's musical artwork commission, which had only ever been performed one night previously, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
June 2013 saw the release of a new song, "Coming Home". Mikey Craig, former bandmate in Culture Club, co-wrote the song with George. It was written during the song writing sessions for his album This Is What I Do released in October 2013. It has been remixed by the likes of Marc Vedo and Kinky Roland. The artist listed for the song is Dharma Protocol featuring Boy George. A video was released on YouTube shot and directed by Boy George, though he did not appear in the video. It was set on the Epping Ongar Railway and starred Danie Cox, lead singer and guitarist of London-based band the Featherz.
On 19 August 2013, it was announced George would release his new studio album of original material, This Is What I Do, his first in 18 years. The album was written by George and longtime writing partners John Themis, Kevan Frost and Richie Stevens. Stevens produced the record at London's Cowshed Studios and it was released by Kobalt Label Services. The album also features writing collaborations with Youth, and a version of Yoko Ono's "Death of Samantha". It was mixed by Dave Bascombe and features a string of guest musicians including DJ Yoda, Kitty Durham, Ally McErlaine, MC Spee and Nizar Al Issa.
In January 2016, George joined the fifth series of The Voice UK, replacing Tom Jones as a mentor. His final act, Cody Frost, finished third place overall. George left the series after just one season and later went on to join The Voice Australia as a coach for its sixth season. His final contestant, Hoseah Partsch, was the runner-up. He returned for the show's seventh season, in 2018 and its eighth season, in 2019 where his final contestant, Diana Rouvas won the competition. He will return for the voice Australia ninth season.
In October 2016, Boy George performed David Bowie's “Starman” – nine months after his idol's death from liver cancer – along with the National Health Service choir, as part of Channel 4’s Stand Up to Cancer UK programme. In 2017, Boy George participated in the 8th season of The Celebrity Apprentice on NBC, in which he supported the charity Safe Kids Worldwide and came in second place. Also in 2017 he collaborated on Pitbull's album Climate Change.
When George was with Culture Club, much was made of his androgynous appearance, and there was speculation about his sexuality. When asked by Joan Rivers in an interview on her show in 1983, "Do you prefer men or women?", George replied, "Oh both." In 1985, when asked by Barbara Walters about his sexual orientation, George said he was bisexual and had had various girlfriends and boyfriends, in the past. He gave a famous, oft-quoted response to an interviewer that he preferred "a nice cup of tea" to sex.
In his 1995 autobiography Take It Like a Man, George stated that he had secret relationships with punk rock singer Kirk Brandon and Culture Club drummer Jon Moss. He stated many of the songs he wrote for Culture Club were about his relationship with Moss.
In 2006, in an episodic documentary directed by Simon George titled The Madness of Boy George, George declared on camera he was "militantly gay". In a 2008 documentary Living with Boy George, he talks about his first realisation he was gay, and when he first told his parents. He discloses that he understands why men fall in love with one another as well as with women.
Concurrently with developing his career as a DJ in the late 1990s, George adopted a macrobiotic diet, which he had been attempting to follow since 1988. In 2001, he published the Karma Cookbook, co-written with Dragana Brown, a private macrobiotic cook and teacher whom George met in 1986. By 2014, George had become a raw vegan after years of occasionally trying the diet.
Drug abuse and legal troubles
By the late 1980s, George had been struggling with heroin addiction for many years. He attempted to perform concerts while under its influence. Addictions to other drugs soon followed. Determined to save George's life, his younger brother David made an appearance on UK national television and discussed George's drug habit, which George had been publicly denying at that time. In 1986, Boy George was arrested for heroin possession as part of "Operation Culture."
In 1986, keyboardist Michael Rudetsky, who co-wrote the song "Sexuality" on Culture Club's From Luxury to Heartache album, was found dead of a heroin overdose in George's London home. George would lose another friend, Mark Vaultier, who overdosed on methadone and Valium at a party. In December 1986, another friend, Mark Golding, died of an overdose, with Scotland Yard police stating there was no suggestion of foul play. It was during this period that George decided to seek treatment for his addiction.
In 1995, Kirk Brandon sued George for libel claiming that George mentioned a love affair between them in George's autobiography, Take It Like a Man. George won the court case and Brandon was ordered to pay £200,000 to Virgin Records, EMI Virgin Music and the book publisher in costs. Brandon declared himself bankrupt, which resulted in Boy George paying over £20,000 in legal fees.
On 7 October 2005, George was arrested in Manhattan on suspicion of cocaine possession and falsely reporting a burglary. George denied that the drugs were his. In court on 1 February 2006, the cocaine possession charge was dropped and George pleaded guilty to falsely reporting a burglary. He was sentenced to five days of community service, fined US$1,000 and ordered to attend a drug rehabilitation programme. On 17 June 2006, a Manhattan judge issued a warrant for the arrest of Boy George after he failed to appear in court for a hearing on why George wanted to change his sentence for the false burglary report. George's attorney informed the court that he had advised George not to appear at that hearing. On 14 August 2006, George reported to the New York City Department of Sanitation for his court-ordered community service. As a result of the swarming media coverage, he was allowed to finish his community service inside the Sanitation Department grounds.
On 23 December 2009, George had his request to appear on the final series of Celebrity Big Brother (to be broadcast on Channel 4), while he was still on licensed release from prison following an assault conviction earlier that year, turned down by the Probation Service. Richard Clayton QC, representing the Probation Service, said George's participation would pose "a high level of risk" to the service's reputation. Clayton argued that if he used the show to promote his status as a celebrity and earn "a lucrative sum of money" it could undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system.
On 5 December 2008, George was convicted in Snaresbrook Crown Court, London, of the assault and false imprisonment of Audun Carlsen, a Norwegian model and male escort, who initially stood for a photography session with George, but on their next meeting George handcuffed him to a wall fixture, traumatising him, and beating him with a metal chain. George's defence presented the effects of his long-term drug use as a mitigating factor. On 16 January 2009, George was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment for these offences. He was initially incarcerated at HM Prison Pentonville, but was then transferred to HM Prison Highpoint North. He was given early release after four months for good behaviour on 11 May 2009. He was required to wear an ankle monitor and submit to a curfew for the remainder of his sentence.
Transfer of icon to Church of Cyprus
In January 2011, George transferred an 18th-century icon of Christ to the Church of Cyprus. The icon, which had adorned his home for 26 years, had been looted from the church of St Charalampus from the village of New Chorio, near Kythrea. George had originally purchased the icon from a London art dealer 11 years after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. He returned the icon at the Saints Anargyroi Church, Highgate, North London.
Harper Collins published his first autobiography, Take It Like a Man, in 1995, written with Spencer Bright. The book was released at the same time as George's solo album Cheapness and Beauty and dealt with the same themes, including a number of photographs. Take It Like a Man was a best-seller in the UK.
In 2005, Century published Straight, his second autobiographical book, this time written with author Paul Gorman. It was in The Sunday Times best-seller list for six weeks. This latter autobiography starts off where the former had stopped, though the two works are different in style, due to their different co-authors, and all of the chapters have a title in the 2005 book, while the 1995 autobiography only featured numbered sections.
References in popular culture
|1993||MTV Video Music Awards||"The Crying Game"||Best Video from a Film||Nominated|
|1994||Grammy Awards||Best Male Pop Vocal Performance||Nominated|
|1999||"When Will You Learn"||Best Dance Recording||Nominated|
|2004||Tony Awards||Taboo||Best Original Score||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Awards||Outstanding Music||Nominated|
|2005||Lunas del Auditorio||Himself||Espectaculo Alternativo||Nominated|
|2010||Antville Music Video Awards||"Somebody to Love Me" (ft. Mark Ronson)||Best Art Direction||Nominated|
|2011||Popjustice £20 Music Prize||Best British Pop Single||Nominated|
|UK Music Video Awards||Best Pop Video (UK)||Nominated|
|D&AD Awards||Music Video||Wood Pencil|
|2015||Ivor Novello Awards||Himself||Outstanding Contribution to British Music||Won|
|2016||International Dance Music Awards||"Just Another Guy" (ft. Vanilla Ace & Katerina Themis)||Best Indie Dance Track||Nominated|
- 1987 — Sold (UK #29, USA #145, Switzerland #15, Norway #15, Sweden #18, Italy #22]
- 1988 — Tense Nervous Headache
- 1989 — Boyfriend (Album)
- 1989 — High Hat (compilation, U.S. #126)
- 1990 — The Martyr Mantras (in UK — Jesus Loves You, UK #60)
- 1992 — Spin Dazzle (Culture Club & Boy George, mixed compilation)
- 1993 — At Worst… The Best of Boy George and Culture Club (UK #24, USA #169)
- 1995 — Cheapness and Beauty (UK #44)
- 1998 — The Unrecoupable One Man Bandit
- 1999 — Everything I Own (compilation)
- 2002 — Taboo (musical)|Taboo Original London Cast]] (soundtrack of the musical)
- 2002 — Classic Masters (compilation)
- 2002 — U Can Never B2 Straight (UK #147)
- 2002 — Culture Club Box Set (compilation of the demos, remixes and unreleased tunes)
- 2004 — Taboo (soundtrack of Broadway musical)
- 2004 — Yum Yum (under The Twin alias)
- 2004 — The Annual 1, 2, 3, 4
- 2004 — Dance Nation 1, 2, 4, 5
- 2004 — Yum Yum
- 2010 — Ordinary Alien
- 2013 — This is what i do
- 1994 — The Devil in Sister George EP (1993—1994) [UK #26]
- 2004 — Made To Measure (The Twin, promo)
- 2005 — Straight EP
- 2007 — Boy George & Kinky Roland EP
- 1987 — Everything I Own (UK #1, U.S. Dance #45, Canada #1, Germany #8, Switzerland #8, Italy #1, Ireland #1, Norway #1, South Africa #1, Netherlands #3, Sweden #8)
- 1987 — Keep Me in Mind (UK #29, Italy #3)
- 1987 — Sold (UK #24, Italy #4, Ireland #8)
- 1987 — To Be Reborn (UK #13, Italy #13, Ireland #8)
- 1987 — Live My Life (UK #62, U.S. #40, Canada #9)
- 1988 — No Clause 28 (UK #57)
- 1988 — Don’t Cry (UK #60)
- 1989 — Don’t Take My Mind on a Trip (UK #68)
- 1989 — You Found Another Guy (U.S. R&B #34)
- 1989 — After The Love (UK #68)
- 1990 — Generations Of Love* (UK #80)
- 1990 — One On One (UK #83)
- 1991 — Bow Down Mister (UK #27, France #29, Austria #2)
- 1991 — Generations Of Love (remix)* (UK #35)
- 1992 — The Crying Game (UK #22, U.S. #15, Canada #1]
- 1992 — Sweet Toxic Love (UK #65, Austria #14)
- 1993 — More Than Likely (PM Dawn feat. Boy George) (UK #40)
- 1995 — Funtime (UK #45)
- 1995 — Il Adore (UK #50, France #69)
- 1995 — Same Thing in Reverse [UK #56, U.S. Dance #18]
- 1999 — Innocence Is Lost (with Groove Armada) (12" promo)
- 2002 — Swallow Me (как The Real Feminem) (12")
- 2002 — Out of Fashion (with Hi-Gate)
- 2002 — Run (with Sash!) (Germany #48, Croatia #1, Switzerland #98)
- 2002 — Autoerotic (с Dark Globe) (UK #165)
- 2002 — Psychology of the Dreamer (с Eddie Locke) (UK Dance #5)
- 2003 — Here Come the Girls (as The Twin) (limited edition)
- 2003 — Electro Hetero (The Twin)
- 2003 — Sanitised (The Twin)
- 2004 — Human Racing (The Twin)
- 2005 — Love Your Brother (Jesus Loves You feat. Boy George) (12" promo)
- 2006 — You Are My Sister (with Antony and the Johnsons) (UK #39)
- 2006 — You’re Not the One (with Loverush UK) (promo)
- 2007 — Time Machine (with Amanda Ghost)
- 2007 — You’re Not the One (with Loverush UK)
- 2007 — Atoms (with Dark Globe)
- 2008 — Generations Of Love (with Phunk Investigation)
- 2008 — Yes We Can (Slovenia #1]
- 2009 — American Heart (with Bliss)
- 2011 — Pentonville Blues (with Glide & Swerve)
- Pentonville Blues (Original Mix)
- Pentonville Blues (Ben Royal Mix)
- Pentonville Blues (Rezone Remix)
- Pentonville Blues (UAC Remix)
- 2019 — You Cannot Be Saved (with Marc Vedo)
- Jerome Robins (Oxygen Remix)
- "Boy George, The Ivors" Archived 1 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine. The Ivors. Retrieved 31 December 2017
- "Boy George Biography: Singer (1961–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Archived from the original on 14 January 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Savage, Mark (27 January 2019). "Boy George: The things I've learned". Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- Egan, Barry (4 March 2007). "My life with a handsome bastard". Independent.ie. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
- Iley, Chrissy (16 January 2007). "Chrissy Iley talks to Boy George's mum Dinah O'Dowd". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
- "Boy George". Wilde Life. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Crawley, Peter (26 July 2018). "Boy George: 'My Irish family's story is like a great Irish song, a lament'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
- "Brother of Boy George Convicted of Killing Wife". Associated Press. 21 December 1995. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
- "Boy George's old squat: It happened here". Time Out. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- Myers, Ben (3 September 2012). "Criminalising squatters will hurt British pop music". Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- "Boy George". The Blitz Kids. Archived from the original on 30 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- Sweeting, Adam (13 February 2015). "Steve Strange obituary". Archived from the original on 29 December 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Baltin, Steve (12 November 2015), "Boy George Picks His Top 5 Pop Bands of All Time", Billboard, retrieved 10 December 2015
- Murray, Robin (30 October 2013), "Boy George: How To Make A Pop Idol", Clashmusic, retrieved 10 December 2015
- Trunk, Russell A. (2005). "'80s - Bow Wow Wow (2006)". Exclusive Magazine.
- "Boy George facts: Net worth, age, real name, songs and more". Smooth Radio. 19 June 2018.
- "Boy George".
- Prono, Luca (2008). Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Popular Culture. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780313335990.
- "Anglomania: The Second British Invasion". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- "Culture Club the distinction of being the first group since The Beatles to have three Top Ten hits in America from a debut album". Electricsoulshow.com. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- Chiu, David (10 July 2015). "Goodbye Is Forever: Duran Duran, Live Aid & the End of the Second British Invasion". Medium. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Boy George Flirts with Tragedy and Faces a Lawsuit". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
- "Boy George slams new Club singer". BBC News. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
- "Boy George and His Sparkly Hat Promise Culture Club Reunion – Amplifier". New.music.yahoo.com (27 January 2011). Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Boy George's band Culture Club are playing a one-off London show". Metro. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Toni Street: I won't get into a 'public slagging match'". Stuff. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
- "Watch: Boy George walks out of Seven Sharp interview, Christchurch show later cancelled". NZ Herald. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
- Murphy, Emily (4 November 2016). "Boy George cancels Christchurch show". stuff. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
- "Culture Club cancel New Zealand tour". Press. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
- "Mr. Clean: Boy George Straightens Up His Act". Rolling stone. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
- Boy George with Spencer Bright, Take It Like a Man (Harper Collins, First U.S. Edition, 1995) pp. 481–482. On page 482, he says, "I enjoy the rituals of offering obeisances to Krishna and chanting, especially when there are hundreds of devotees jumping and banging drums. At that moment it seems like the human ego is truly transcended. I do find the sexual attitudes far too rigid, though I admit the cycle of desire is fraught with anxiety and disappointment. I don't choose to cut off from it, maybe I enjoy the pain." On page 481 he says, "'Bow Down Mister' swept me up in a spiritual whirl and I became an unlikely queer envoy for Krishna Consciousness."
- For example, in 2001 he toured the U.S. and Canada as part of the "Big DJ, Small Club" series, sponsored by Benson & Hedges. Michel Raphael, "Bean there". National Post, 14 August 2001: B1, B2.
- "Boy George Biography". Musictory.com. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
- "Boy George 'enjoyed' street sweep". BBC News. 7 September 2006. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
- "Review: Boy George live last night (thelondonpaper)". Thelondonpaper.typepad.com. 24 January 2008. Archived from the original on 27 January 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
- "Fact File: Retrofest", Scotland on Sunday, 25 May 2008
- Pareles, Jon (27 January 2012). "Antony and the Johnsons at Radio City Music Hall". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
- "See Danie Cox and The Feathers in London For Free – David Bowie Latest News". Davidbowie.com. 24 May 2013. Archived from the original on 10 January 2014.
- "Boy George announces first new album in 18 years 'This Is What I Do' – Music News". Digital Spy. 29 August 2013.
- Carpenter, Louise (2 January 2016). "How Boy George got a second chance". The Times. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- Glennie, Alasdair (14 August 2015). "Tom Jones heads for green, green grass of home after losing spot on The Voice". theguardian.com. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
- "Boy George's David Bowie tribute moved fans to tears as he is urged to release Starman cover as charity Christmas single". Channel 4. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
- "Vince Neil, Boy George Join 'Celebrity Apprentice'". Rolling Stone. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- "Pitbull bereut Wechsel zur Popmusik nicht". Klatsch-tratsch.de. 8 October 2016.
- "Boy George signs to BMG". Musicweek.com. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
- "Becoming an Icon – A Cup of Tea – Icons of England". Icons.org.uk. Archived from the original on 30 September 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
- George O'Dowd; Spencer Bright (1995). Take It Like A Man, The Autobiography of Boy George. Pan Books (Macmillan Publishers Ltd). ISBN 0-330-32362-8.
- The Madness of Boy George (TV 2006), IMDB.com
- Living with... Boy George (TV 2008), IMDB.com
- Profile of Dragana Brown; Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- Mitchel Raphael, "Bean there". National Post, 14 August 2001: B1, B2.
- Trakin, Roy (30 April 2014). "Boy George's Comeback and New Sound: 'My Balls Have Finally Dropped' (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- Boy George with Spencer Bright, Take it Like a Man, London, Sigwick & Jackson, 1995
- Dugan, Emily (14 November 2007). "Boy George 'chained male escort to a wall in his flat'". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
- "American Musician Dies In Boy George's Home". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
- "Friend of Singer Boy George Dies of Suspected Drug Overdose". AP News. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
- Boy George (with Paul Gorman) Straight, London: Century, 2005
- "Musician Boy George has appeared in court ...", BBC News, 8 October 2008
- "Singer Boy George has had a charge of possessing cocaine dropped by a New York court", BBC News, 8 March 2006
- "Boy George Angers NYC Judge" Archived 29 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine, wcbstv from AP report, 17 June 2006
- "A feisty Boy George reports for garbage duty", Today.com, 14 August 2006
- "Boy George loses Big Brother plea". BBC News. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- "Buddhism Has Kept Me Sober". StarPulse. 8 September 2013. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "A Successful Human Being". PunkGlobe. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- Jones, Sam and Lewis, Paul "Boy George gets 15 months for falsely imprisoning male escort", The Guardian, 16 January 2009.
- "Boy George jailed for 15 months". BBC News. 16 January 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
- Swash, Rosie, "Boy George released early from jail", The Guardian, 12 May 2009
- Boy George returns Christ icon to Cyprus church BBC.co.uk 19 January 2011
- Representation of the Church of Cyprus to the European Union, The post-byzantine icon of Jesus Christ returns to the Church of Cyprus London Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, January 2011. (broken link April 2014)
- "Two Programmes – Worried About the Boy". BBC. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- Willis, Beth (20 January 2008). "Ashes to Ashes: Life after Mars". The Daily Telegraph.
- De Graaf Kasper, Garret Malcolm (1983), When Cameras Go Crazy, London, UK, Virgin Books & New York, NY, USA, St. Martin's Press; ISBN 0-312-17879-4 (Culture Club's official biography)
- Boy George with Spencer Bright (1995), Take It Like a Man, London, Sidgwick & Jackson (Boy George's first official autobiography)
- Boy George with Paul Gorman (2004), Straight, London, Century (Boy George's second official autobiography – republished in 2007 with updates – first edition includes EP of the same name)