Boy George Enjoys Career Success After Pushing Past Addiction 'Troubles'

By Kelly Burch 08/22/17

"I suppose I've come back home through my troubles to quite a positive place, and I'm just happy.”

Boy George

After hitting his 9-year sober milestone this past March, British singer and pop icon Boy George has signed a new record deal and is preparing for a residency in Las Vegas.  

“For the last couple of years I've been excited about what I'm doing. I suppose I've come back home through my troubles to quite a positive place, and I'm just happy,” the singer told The Daily Mail. "All that's happening in my life is because I'm smiling, and I think that's the best way to explain it." 

The fashion icon (born George Alan O'Dowd) signed with BMG records, his first major record deal in nearly 30 years. He'll release both a solo album and a new album with his band Culture Club—on top of that, he also locked down a residency to perform in Las Vegas.

“I think these things happen because they're meant to happen. I feel like if I look at my career, I do believe the world is a reflection of how you feel at the time, and it's a mirror of where you are,” he said. 

Boy George struggled publicly with drugs and alcohol, namely heroin addiction in the 1980s, and relapsed many times. He also had run-ins with the law for assault. However, he hasn’t relapsed since getting sober back in 2008. 

“People talk about relapses as going out for more research. In my case I have done all the research possible,” he told The Daily Mail in 2015. 

Earlier this year, Boy George got into a disagreement with Mötley Crüe’s lead singer Vince Neil while filming an episode of The New Celebrity Apprentice. Neil was drinking while the two were working on a song together, and Boy George was uncomfortable with the situation. 

“I was a little alarmed. I’m a recovering addict,” he said at the time. “I do not need to be in the room with someone drinking alcohol. It’s just not a good look for me. I’m not happy about it at all.”

However, Neil later snapped back, “You can’t put your sobriety on everybody else … If you choose not to drink, don’t drink. But I’m way over 21,” he said. 

Now well into his sobriety, George is excited for the change to craft his own show in Vegas. “I'm really excited about upping the ante because obviously you're a resident so you don't have to move the set around and you can really experiment with the visuals,” he said. “It's something I've wanted to do.”

“I’m a much more successful and happier person sober,” he said in March. “And I’m nicer to be around.”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.