Culture Club singer Boy George names names and does not hold back in his new memoir, Karma: My Autobiography. Especially when it comes to some fellow 1980s celebs he says were not so nice to him back in the day. The flamboyant, technicolor star who once sang “Don’t Talk About It” on his new wave group’s 1984 album Waking Up with the House on Fire definitely talks about it in the book out now.
According to an excerpt in People, George quips, “When it comes to me and Janet [Jackson], let’s wait a while.” George said the two pop idols met during their respective 1980s peaks on the show Solid Gold, where Janet superfan George approached the “Rhythm Nation” singer without his signature bold makeup on to express his love for her.
“She wasn’t friendly and didn’t try to be. But I just walked off and got myself into my best ‘Boy George’ and was walking around backstage to make sure I was seen by everyone,” he writes in the book, where he also notes that a member of Jackson’s crew later approached him with video camera in hand asking him to record a message for Janet.
“‘Next time you meet someone, be nice,’” George replied. Later, George said he was swept into Jackson’s dressing room, where she said she hadn’t recognized him earlier. “‘Are you saying you would have been nice to me if you knew who I was?’ We parted on awkward terms,” he said of their stilted exchange.
Things were not much friendlier the next time they meet at the long-running U.K. music series Top of the Pops several years later, where he reported that Jackson “looked straight through me.” George (born George O’Dowd), 62, told People he has nothing else to say about the incident now, noting that sometimes when you write a tell-all there’s a “chance you’re going to bump into someone that you’ve written about,” and that he’s secure in his truth about how people behaved.
“I’m always someone who’s prepared to bury the hatchet because there’s always another opportunity to be different,” he said, adding, however, that at this point, “there’s certain people I’m never gonna be friends with unless a miracle happens — and I guess I put her [Jackson] in that category.”
“I love Janet Jackson’s music and I love Madonna and I love all the people I’ve written about,” George told People. “I suppose when you write things about other artists, it’s also — note to self — you remember that perhaps there’s been times in your life when you weren’t friendly to everyone you met.”
George also had similar feelings about late rock icon Tina Turner — who he doesn’t mention in the book — though he told People that she also “wasn’t nice to me, which was a shame.” He says he’d been invited to an Elton John show and in a tiny, celeb-packed dressing room afterwards among such luminaires as Faye Dunaway and Ben Kingsley, John introduced him to Turner, who, he said, “turned her back.”
He never figured out why Turner reacted how she did, saying it may have had to do with his drug-taking at the time. “I’d just come off drugs — so maybe she was disapproving of that,” he said. Regardless, George said he’s still “the biggest Tina Turner fan on the planet. I mean, I forgave her and I loved her.”
“It’s 1,000% easier to be nice,” the singer told the magazine. “Not only Is it easier to be nice as it’s better for you.” In an earlier excerpt, People noted that the book covers everything from George’s violent childhood in South East London as as bullied teen to his four-month prison stint in 2009 after a conviction for falsely imprisoning and assaulting a male escort and his $2.3 million dollar legal battle with former bandmate/lover Culture Club drummer Jon Moss.
The article “Boy George’s Memoir ‘Karma’ Reveals Why He’ll Never, Ever Be Friends With Janet Jackson… ‘Unless a Miracle Happens’” by Gil Kaufman was published on 10/01/2024 by www.billboard.com