Boy George, born George Alan O’Dowd, is best known as the brightly-dressed singer for Culture Club — the New Romantics behind hit songs like “Karma Chameleon” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.” But he made history this week when he reportedly scooped the highest-ever fee for entering the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! jungle.
Though he’s appeared as a judge on The Voice before, this is the singer’s first time competing in a reality show, having previously been invited onto the final season of Celebrity Big Brother back in 2009. The series aired shortly after the singer was freed from prison, where he was jailed for the assault and false imprisonment of Norwegian model Audun Carlsen, but because the musician was still on licensed release, the Probation Service turned down his request to appear on the show to avoid damaging the public’s faith in the criminal justice system.
Now, however, Boy George has headed into the Australian jungle to take on a variety of Bushtucker Trials, and has already expressed his discomfort with fellow contestant Matt Hancock. The West Sussex MP is best known as the former Health Secretary, and has been criticised for many of the decisions he made during 2020 and beyond. In an emotional clip, George said that he feels uncomfortable about “sitting here having fun” with a controversial public figure like Hancock.
But outside of jungle life, what does Boy George get up to and how does he make his money? Read on to find out.
3 Ways That Boy George Makes His Millions
Originally a part of the New Romantics scene, a glam-rock adjacent movement from the ‘80s, Boy George originally became famous as the singer of Culture Club. Along with other artists like Annie Lennox of Eurythmics and Adam Ant, George’s androgynous, expressive dress sense helped to turn him into a cultural icon along with classic records like Colour By Numbers. While the group’s hits have no doubt made him a pretty penny, George has admitted having some regrets about the royalty deals he negotiated. When The Guardian asked what aspect of his past he would edit, he replied: “The royalty splits on Karma Chameleon, I had to force the rest of… Culture Club to record it.” In 2019, meanwhile, George inked a new deal to try and recoup lost copyright, claiming he had lost out on millions. “I think if he had been looked after perfectly — meaning he owned everything — then George’s empire would be $200 to $300 million dollars [£170m – £255m] ” Boy George’s manager Paul Kemsley claimed to New York Post. “His catalogue today is worth a fortune.” As well as his role in the band, George has nine solo studio albums.
Though he only appeared on the UK edition of the talent competition for one season, George’s The Voice UK contract was worth a reported £1.6m. Later, the singer moved to the Australian version of the show, where he claimed he had taken a “paycut” due to the pandemic. Still, The Daily Mail reports that the deal was worth $3m in Australian dollars, equivalent to £1.7m.
As for I’m A Celeb a source from ITV told The Daily Mail that George secured a record fee in exchange for going into the jungle. “He has… secured the highest pay check in the history of the show. Close to £900,000,” they claimed. He’s also a judge on Irish talent show The Big Deal.
As well as his music career, Boy George has also written a number of books, including his 1995 autobiography, Take It Like A Man, and his 2005 memoir, Straight. Both fees aren’t publicly disclosed. Elsewhere, he’s also written a macrobiotic cookbook called Karma Cookbook.
What is Boy George’s Net Worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, all of Boy George’s creative outlets add up to give him a net worth of $50 million (£43.9m).