You’re No Longer a Boy, George: Ex-Culture Club Frontman is 50

Boy George. Photo: BBC

For us self-centered ’80s babies who gauge our proximity to old age by the number of grey hairs on our childhood heroes, here’s a doozy. Boy George is 50 today.

Of course, it’s been 30 years since Culture Club doused the music scene with glitter and lipstick, so you do the math. Wearing fantastic hats atop skinny dreads, the man born George O’Dowd sang like Smokey Robinson but looked like Cher. And the masses embraced him. (In truth, behind the Maybelline mascara, he was as mainstream as Barry Gibb.) Culture Club scored six top 10 hits stateside, nine in the UK.

Yes, there were drug addictions, an affair with Culture Club drummer Jon Moss, arrests, rehab stints, a Broadway flop, and a much-publicized prison sentence. Still, Boy George’s star wattage has rarely dimmed over the past 30 years, and like his elder, Madonna, he’s still making hits to this day. (In the UK, at least…)

A LOOK BACK AT GEORGE’S CAREER IN CLIPS

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Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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