Boy George is one of the best known names in British music. He rose to fame in the 1980s as part of the New Romantic movement and is recognised for his soulful voice and flamboyant dress sense.
George Alan O'Dowd, professionally known as Boy George, grew up in South London as part of a large Irish working-class family. Inspired by glam rock, David Bowie and the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees, he was a regular at London nightclub Blitz which was run by Steve Strange and Rusty Egan. He was spotted by Malcolm McLaren who arranged for him to join band Bow Wow Wow. However, the relationship was short lived and in 1981 Boy George formed Culture Club with Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss.
The following year the band had an international hit single with 'Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?', a single released from their debut album 'Kissing to Be Clever'. More hits followed including 'Time' and 'I'll Tumble 4 Ya'. Their second album, 'Colour By Numbers', was released in 1983 and was an enormous success both in the UK and US. 'Karma Chameleon' was the standout single from the album, including in the US where it reached Number 1 and in the UK it became the best-selling single of 1983.
The next two albums were less successful, although Boy George received acclaim for his joint lead vocal performance on the Band Aid charity single 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' in aid of the 1984 Ethiopian famine. The record sold over a million copies in the first week, making it at the time the fastest-selling single in UK chart history. In 1986 Culture Club disbanded and Boy George went on to pursue a solo career.