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Attitude Music Icons Award: Boy George and Culture Club

More than 30 years ago, Culture Club put queer pop on the map. Now, they're back with a new album and a fresh take on the world.

By Steve Brown

Boy George and Culture Club have been honoured with the Music Icons Award at the Virgin Holidays Attitude Awards 2018, powered by Jaguar.

George is a rare breed of pop star. He’s never really been much fussed about what people think of him. Not now, and not 30 years ago when Culture Club first broke new ground.

They were a band that could only have been born out of the renegade spirit of the Eighties, which took pride in challenging a world slowly marching towards capitalist conservatism and traditional values.

Culture Club blended sensuality and spirituality, and Boy George became a fi gurehead for a new kind of queerness that revelled in fucking with stereotypes. As the frontman of the band, George received most of the media’s attention, which was fixated on his androgynous look.

George later revealed in his 1995 autobiography Take It Like A Man that he had been in a secret relationship with bandmate Jon Moss, adding that many of Culture Club’s songs had been written about the pair’s relationship.

“We live in an age where there are lots of great performers, great dancers, great singers, but it feels as if everyone’s writing the same song”, George, 57, says in Attitude November Awards issue.

“It feels like everybody’s trying to get the fur coat, the limo, the house — everyone knows what’s possible now. I can honestly say that before I started Culture Club I had no passport, I had never been out of the country.”

The Attitude Awards 2018 honour Boy George and Culture Club for a legacy that helped put queer pop at the top of the charts.

Without them, there would be no Christine and the Queens, Mykki Blanco, Lady Gaga or Ah Mer Ah Su, making them deserving winners of the Music Icons award.

Read more about the winners from the Virgin Holidays Attitude Awards 2018, powered by Jaguar in the November Awards issue of Attitude, out now.

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