George Alan O’Dowd
Bexley, Kent, South East London, England
George’s permanent home that he owns since 1986 is a Victorian mansion in Hampstead, North of Central London.
Boy George studied in Eltham Green Secondary School in South East London until the age of 15 after which he was expelled.
Thereafter, George did not pursue education at all. He started doing odd jobs until he found major fame and success leading a band called Culture Club from 1982 to 1986.
Singer, Songwriter, Disc Jockey (DJ), Fashion Designer, Photographer, Producer, Actor
- Father – Gerald O’Dowd aka Gerry (Business Owner of a building and decorating firm)
- Mother – Dinah O’ Dowd
- Siblings – Richard (Oldest child of Dinah, George’s Half-brother), Kevin O’Dowd (Older Brother), David O’Dowd (Younger Brother), Gerald O’Dowd (Younger Brother) (Bricklayer and former Boxer), Siobhan (Younger Sister)
He is signed with these –
- Paul Kemsley aka PK (Manager)
- Creative Artists Agency (CAA) (USA Agency)
- Sharron Elkabas, MN2S (UK Booking Agency)
- Keith Naisbitt, Agency for the Performing Arts (APA)
- The Mr. Ben Agency, London
- Edge Publicity UK (Publicist)
- High Rise PR, NYC (Public Relations and Artist management)
- New wave
- Soft Rock
- New Romantic
- The Vine Flute
- More Protein
- Plan A Records
- Very Me Records
6 ft or 183 cm
80 kg or 176 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Boy George has dated –
- Kirk Brandon (Early 1980s) – In his autobiography published in 1995, Take It Like a Man, George confessed that he was in love with British musician, Kirk Brandon in the 1980s and shared an affectionate relationship with him during that period. His single, Unfinished Business (1995) also described his feelings for Kirk. In 1997, Kirk, who was married to a woman and had a daughter by that time, sued Boy George for spreading fabricated lies about his sexuality seeking monetary compensation for the defamation. However, the case was decided in favor of Boy George.
- Jon Moss (Early 1980s) – When George’s band, Culture Club was at the peak of its success from 1982 to 1986, he was embroiled in a passionate relationship with the band’s drummer Jon Moss replete with jealousy, physical and verbal abuse. But none of the elements of this volatile relationship were a public knowledge. A major cause of mutual disagreement between the two men was making their relationship public. Jon, who claims to be heterosexual dated another guy after breaking up with George. He found himself terribly bored dating a string of women one after the other until he hit it off with longtime friend, Barbara Savage. The couple got married and had 3 children before they divorced in 2010. The band, Culture Club reunited briefly in 1998 during which Jon and George made peace with each other and were able to get past their differences. George explained that time helped in easing their mutual grudges so that their relationship could evolve into an amicable friendship.
- Michael Dunne (Late 1980s to late 1990s) – British video director, Michael was George’s longtime partner of 11 years before they broke up. The two men continue to be friends. In an interview, George explained he finds it important to retain a friendly association with all his exes as a mark of respect to the relationship he shared with them. George also shared that long after their break up, Michael and him continue to go out on vacations together which is quite normal for them even though his friends and acquaintances find that weird. He added that Michael is now “like a brother to him.”
- Martine McCutcheon (2006–2007) – Tabloid reports suggest that George had a brief heterosexual relationship with the British actress who once starred in Love Actually (2003). George and Martine are friends till date and she went on to marry British singer/songwriter, Jack McManus in 2012.
- Audun Carlsen (January 2007 – April 2007) – George met the Norwegian model, Audun Carlsen on a dating site called Gaydar in January 2007 and hired him as a print model with the additional intent to have relations with him. Audun claimed he refused to sleep with George, was paid £300 of the pre-decided £400 and left. During the next few months, he was pursued by George for a second meeting to which he relented in April 2007. George was paranoid that Audun had hacked into his computer to borrow photographs and other content. Audun eventually went on to press charges against George for tricking him into imprisonment. He stated that he was beckoned into George’s bedroom only to be beaten and handcuffed to the wall by George’s accomplice. George, on the other hand, admitted he handcuffed the model in a fit of frenzied paranoia to check his phone and laptop for stolen content but denied subjecting him to physical assault. Since George refused to plead guilty and showed no signs of remorse, the judge decided the case in favor of Audun Carlsen and asked the singer to pay £5000 in cost along with sentencing him to a 15-month imprisonment.
- In 2011, George talked about his long history of dating a series of ‘straight’ men and the disastrous troubles he often got himself into. When he turned 50, he felt grateful for having made it so far and started taking his health seriously thereafter. He added that time had turned him into a much calmer person who does not want drama. He continues a low key dating life, but no longer feels distressed by yet another breakup. George said that he is finally happy to be by himself and enjoys his own company as much as anybody else’s.
Race / Ethnicity
He has Irish ancestry.
His hair has gone grey now, but childhood pictures show that his natural hair color was Ginger Brown.
- Androgynous clothing style and use of heavy make-up.
- A flamboyant sense of style.
- Very fair, pale skin.
His body specifications may be –
- Chest – 42 in or 107 cm
- Arms / Biceps – 14 in or 35.5 cm
- Waist – 34 in or 86 cm
10 (US) or 9.5 (UK) or 43 (EU)
At the height of his fame several years ago, George endorsed several brands worldwide that are difficult to track and list now.
He was in the news for being the face of Dior Homme in 2017.
Raised Roman Catholic, but largely influenced by Japanese Buddhist values and faith as an adult.
Best Known For
- His bombastic and theatrical appearance.
- His earliest break out hit singles when he was still the lead singer of his band Culture Club such as:
- Do You Really Want to Hurt Me (1982)
- Time (Clock of the Heart) (1982)
- Karma Chameleon (1983)
As part of the band Culture Club – His band released Kissing to be Clever in October 1982 which went Platinum in U.S.
As a solo artist – His first solo studio album Sold was released in 1987 and was certified as “Silver” in U.K.
In 1998, Boy George appeared in an Indian romantic film Love Story 98 in a small role.
First TV Show
In 1981, George was seen in the music series Top of the Pops in a couple of episodes.
- Body Composition – As a child, George described himself thin as a rake. During his teens, he survived a lot on nervous energy or anxiety, hence often forgot to eat and skipped meals.
- Once he found success with his band, he had to travel a lot and was entertained at several restaurants.
- With excess food constantly available, George explains a busy musician can easily get into the habit of eating all the time and piling on the pounds. It was one of the reasons behind his immense weight gain. At one point in his 40s, George weighed 120 kg!
- During the 1980s, George was hooked to heroin and during the early 2000s, he was addicted to cocaine and alcohol. To get healthy, Boy George first quit cocaine and alcohol in 2008 and gave up smoking in 2011. He has been living sober ever since and has not relapsed even once.
- Taking charge of his health, he acquired a dramatic transformation in his 50s after a 40 kg weight loss.
- He started by taking the help of Prince Charles’ nutritionist, Amelia Freer for a customized diet plan.
- His diet required him to give up sugar, dairy, and simple carbohydrates and maintain at least a 5-hour gap between meals during which he could consume only still water or fizzy water.
- He also cut back on excess tea and coffee consumption.
- Almonds are his go-to snack to control intense hunger pangs.
- George started cooking his own meals and even released a macrobiotic diet based recipe book in 2001.
- Later, he started consuming two meals a day which included a late breakfast in the day followed by a second meal after a gap of 5-7 hours.
- To speed up his metabolism, George tries to work out every day and commits himself to make it to the gym at least 5 times a week.
- He swears by high-intensity interval training and also took up boxing.
- For some reason, he CANNOT consume cauliflower, butternut squash, onions, and lemons.
- He never liked eating fish throughout his youth but made fish a staple part of his diet after 50 for the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega 3.
- He attends AA meetings twice a week to continue maintaining his sobriety.
Boy George Favorite Things
- Word – Love, Beyond, yes, no
- Guilty Pleasure – Raw Chocolate, Bread
- Quote – You teach best that which you need to learn
- Childhood Inspiration – David Bowie
- Song – Always on my Mind by Willie Nelson
- Actor – Marlon Brando
- Movie – Imitation of Life (1959)
- British TV Shows – University Challenge (Quiz Program), The Chase (UK Game Show), Question Time (British Topical debate show)
- Contemporary Pop Singers – Joel Compass, Lion Babe, Justin Bieber
- Superhero – Batman
- Singing Voice Of All Time – Gladys Knight, David Bowie, Donny Hathaway, Nina Simone
- Beatles Song – The Ballad of John and Yoko
- American Restaurants – Pure Food & Wine (NYC), One Lucky Duck (NYC), Karyn’s (Chicago), Café Gratitude (LA), Erewhon (LA)
- Preferred Way To Have Morning Coffee – Espresso
- British Monarch – Queen Elizabeth
Boy George Facts
- The musician suffered a troubled childhood in school. He remembers a lot of shouting and canings by his teachers since he lacked academic interest.
- All his brothers had to work for their father in his construction business but George did not join them. He said that he felt much happier painting and decorating by himself.
- He had a skin allergy in school that turned his skin a bright, angry red for days even upon getting lightly tapped or scratched. George often capitalized on that condition by playing the victim who was treated badly by his teachers as an excuse to skip school.
- He was bad at sports but a good swimmer.
- In his teens, he was obsessed with David Bowie and Marc Bolan and would frequently indulge himself by drawing their pictures. He would also sit outside David Bowie’s home for hours just to catch a glimpse of him.
- He met David Bowie for the first time in 2005. By that time, David had already read George’s autobiography and knew he was his fan. George went on to have dinner with David Bowie and his wife, Iman in New York which he describes as the best night of his life.
- George has a tattoo of David Bowie on his right arm and Marc Bolan on his left arm. They are his favorite tattoos on his body till date.
- As a child, he was extremely close to his mother and shared a troubled relationship with his father who was very aggressive by temperament. He left George’s mother after 43 years of an abusive marriage for a much younger woman.
- When George became a successful singer, for a very long time, his parents did not even dare to ask him about his work and had no clue why he was so famous because they were afraid of hearing something radically unpleasant. They were relieved to find out he was part of a band.
- During his yesteryears, Boy George was well known for his feuds and brutally critical comments as much as his creative talent. He criticized Eminemcling to her pop crown at all costs” and Elton John for a desperate attempt at being trendy when he collaborated with Eminem. He also put down George Michael for not being honest about his sexuality. However, in today’s social media age, George claims he would never be this judgmental or vocal about other people now.
- In 2015, he shocked the audience and brought the live shooting of The Voice UK to a halt when he claimed he slept with Prince. Later on, George clarified it was merely a joke.
- He says his best character trait is that he recovers and moves on from setbacks very quickly and does not waste time feeling sorry for self.
- His worst character trait is that he is very impatient and can’t hide his dislike for narrow-minded people obsessed with following petty rules and stereotypes.
- George is Godfather to his manager, Paul Kemsley’s daughter whose wife, Dorit has been seen in Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
- In 2003, he moved to New York for 3 years where he was charged with falsely reporting a robbery. He was sentenced to community service that required him to sweep the streets of Manhattan in full media glare.
- George is obsessed with wearing hats as a part of his style statement and owns more than 200 in his wardrobe. While he continues to order new custom-made ones, he also likes to buy them from a shop in London called, A Child of the Jago.
- Boy George shares his birthday (14 June) with Donald Trump.
- Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and Instagram.
Featured Image by Dean Stockings / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0