It could be a number of things, what I eat, drink,' said Boy George Boy George looks 20 years younger than when I last saw him five years ago — his face all cheekbones and angles, free of any make-up. He has lost six stone and looks taut, tall and surprisingly handsome.
A neat stubble showcases his defined jawline and there are those huge mesmerising eyes. We meet at his hotel in Denver, Colorado, where Culture Club are about to embark on an American tour — their first for 13 years. Today, the once-prickly George opens up about the astonishing highs and lows of his flamboyant career and how his currency is running high in America. He talks about the torment of his relationship with Culture Club drummer Jon Moss, with whom he can now enjoy a cosy cup of tea, the conflicts within the band over changing directions, and how he remodelled his lifestyle to become healthy and shed a damaging lifelong addiction to drugs, alcohol and food.
Only on the subject of the prison term he served for assault on a male escort does he fall uncharacteristically silent. Reading anything about it, he whispers, makes him cry. I have a late breakfast, then a five-to seven-hour gap before I eat again. When the band started in , George and drummer Jon Moss were lovers — the one gay affair, Moss says, in an otherwise heterosexual life. But in , when they reformed, it was without George and with a newly hired singer.
The planned tour never got off the ground, and George forgave them. It is family and I think Culture Club is a family — a dysfunctional family. Or at least we were. Band members also complained about the fact the group now had two managers after George hired a new one, Paul Kemsley, who also looks after football star Pele, for himself.
How would that work, they wanted to know. It would have been foolish for me to go out on the road with the problem I had. The tour would have stopped halfway through. But the band were disgruntled. They also wondered how they could ever go on tour with different managers? I have so many things happening at the moment.
It is a period when the possibilities are endless, it is exciting. He is from a branding background. He ordered them about and forced them into crazy outfits they felt really uncomfortable wearing. Now, at the age of 53, he has no interest in getting involved in any of that.
If they have to sort out things, they have to do it with not much help from me. And these days, he says, he and the band members are truly friends. And he sees no conflict in working with someone with whom he once shared such a passionate love. It could be a number of things, what I eat, drink. I am much better sober, functioning and calm. It suits me more. People talk about relapses as going out for more research. In my case I have done all the research possible. As far as I know no one is drinking.
We are all pretty sober. Hopefully Jon will be better for the UK shows. He may need an operation on his back. I am able to focus rather than worry. He takes care of me. I have done stupid things. I was an idiot, self-destructive, but I have never been a bad person,' he said The miracle manager sounds like a father figure, but in fact he is six years younger than George. Then again, George has always liked authority figures in his life.
For some reason always Jewish. He grew up Catholic, so perhaps it is the attraction of opposites. He is a great north London Jewish boy. In some ways we had a similar journey. He is straight with a beautiful wife [Dorita]. We are all doing a reality show together with the same people who do the Kardashians.
It is called Paul, Dorita and I. It will be very exciting. And I am loving being the queen of the stage again. At one point he ballooned to 19st. He looked wobbly and puffy. Now he is on a diet called the Metabolic Plan and has never felt better.
I used to say I have no willpower, but actually I have loads of it. I just needed to reverse it and use it to my advantage. Was it Chrissie Hynde who said meat is murder but fish is justified homicide? He and George fell out, not speaking for many years. He died in We never knew which person would be there. He was open-minded, incredibly tolerant but unpredictable. Towards the end I did not speak to him at all which is sad.
But today he says he has a lot of them. But having regrets helps you set up boundaries with yourself instead of making the same mistakes over and over again. But I am lucky. I am happy on my own, I like to switch off. You should have equality regardless if you are married or not. But I totally support gay marriage for those who want to get married. His androgyny and quirkiness made people love him — not because he was gay. Over the years, of course, it has been different.
I am friends with them and they are friends with George. We had a fantastic time gossiping and being stupid the whole night.
But today, he says, things are different. It is a blessing to realise that not everything that you have to say is interesting. But if he has mellowed, he has not lost the ability to surprise. Who knew, for example, that he loved the Royal Family so much?
I would love to meet the Queen; I am amazed by what she does. It is a hard role to pull off. And George is loving it. I look at them. That is the key. Now I am rarely in a bad mood, but if I was, I would never take it on stage with me. But it would not have been right for me. Look at the magical Amy Winehouse. I know in it they blame other people [for her death].
But today he is less bitter and more sweet. He does, however, avoid talking about his most painful periods, such as his month prison sentence for an assault on a male escort. I was an idiot, self-destructive, but I have never been a bad person or wished anyone or anything harm. I would not do anything cruel. I wish people gave me credit for the changes I made. Here are five other songs that proved to be excellent pensions for their writers It sold ten million copies.
You Raise Me Up became a global smash for Westlife.