Boy George found the idea of being grown up “abhorrent” as recently as five years ago, even though he was already in his 40s.
The 49-year-old star resolutely refused to act his age until recently, citing things which happened in his personal life as the reason for his change of heart.
In 2009, he served four months of a 15-month sentence for the assault and false imprisonment of a male escort in his London apartment. He has spoken extensively about how much time inside changed him, and says it is one of the reasons he decided to change his life.
“It’s all about growing up and actually five or ten years ago I wouldn’t have been able to say I’d grown up, the idea would have been abhorrent to me. But now I can actually say in the last few years I’ve done a lot of growing up and it’s made my life a lot better,” he explained.
“I try to enjoy what I do, I don’t look at it like a chore. I’m able to say no to things. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t cause a drama I just say no. So that is the thing you’ve got to learn, to protect yourself and make sure you’re comfortable in what you do.”
The star released a solo album last year called Ordinary Alien, some of which was written while he was incarcerated. Boy George – real name George O’Dowd – wants all his fans to hear the record as it gives a real insight into his state of mind, and how he dealt with what was happening to him.
“I kind of use my writing like a diary, so I write about things that are very personal to me, things that I’ve experienced, things that have affected me and that I feel strongly about. The music I make is always personal, it always reflects things that are going on in my life. At the moment things are kind of gorgeous,” he told the BBC.
“It’s amazing how you can bounce back from these things. I’ve surprised myself really with my resilience. Yes it [prison] did happen, but it feels so long ago now.”