- ‘It was a stroke of luck that we didn’t do it because I wasn’t in a fit state.’
Boy George has revealed why he didn’t perform at Live Aid – the pop rock concert that defined a generation.
George said he was ‘otherwise engaged chemically’ at the time of the concert. And he added he was lucky his group Culture Club didn’t agree to perform as he ‘wasn’t in a fit state’.
He told the Grounded With Louis Theroux podcast: ‘I messed it up. I was otherwise engaged chemically.
‘I mean, I think it was a stroke of luck that we didn’t do it because I wasn’t in a fit state to do it.
‘We were originally asked but then I think everyone was just looking at the state of me and going, “this might be more harmful than good”. So, they basically didn’t follow up on it.’
Gay singer Boy George was one of the big stars of the 1980s. He spearheaded the English New Romantic movement in the late 70s and early 80s. Meanwhile his androgynous appearance helped countless LGBT+ people identify with him.
As the lead singer of Culture Club, he became famous for his songs Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.
As a result, George joined the supergroup who performed on the charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas? which became Christmas number one in the UK in 1984.
The song raised money for the Ethiopian famine which left 1.2million people dead.
After the charity single’s success, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure organized Live Aid on 13 July 1985.
The day saw concerts at Wembley Stadium in London, England and John F Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. And the live-broadcast global television audience reached 1.9billion across 150 countries.
But while George wasn’t there, fellow gay singers Elton John and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury still gave celebrated performances.
By 1987 George, who had lost several friends to drug overdoses, was seeking help for his heroin addiction.
The 58-year-old now splits his time between songwriting, DJing, writing and designing clothes and photography.