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Culture Club

Culture Club were a pop and New Romantic band primarily active in the 1980s. Boy George (real name George O'Dowd), an active cross-dresser in London in the 1970s, got his professional start as an early member of Bow Wow Wow[?]. He then formed In Praise of Lemmings with Mikey Craig[?] (bass), which became the Sex Gang Children after the addition of Jon Juede[?] (guitar). After Jon Moss[?] (drums, of Adam & the Ants and The Damned) joined, the group became known as Culture Club. Sude was replaced by Roy Hay[?] (of Russian Bouquet[?]) and recorded some demos for EMI, but this did not result in a contract. In 1982, Culture Club signed with Virgin Records and released two unsuccessful singles before the breakthrough success of "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", a massive British hit. The band's debut LP, Kissing to Be Clever, was also a hit and, by 1983, both the album and song were entering the American charts. Culture Club's popularity greatly expanded with the release of "Karma Chameleon" and Colour by Numbers[?] in 1983. Its follow-up, Waking up with the House on Fire[?] was relatively unsuccessful in America but still a British hit, reaching #2 there.

During a 1985 break from the band, Boy George became addicted to heroin and his romantic relationship with Moss began to suffer. The band's comeback album, From Luxury to Heartache[?] was a moderate success. In 1986, George announced his addiction and was soon thereafter arrested on charges of possession of cannabis. Michael Rudetski[?], keyboardist for From Luxury to Heartache died of a heroin overdose in George's home only a few days after his arrest; Rudetski's parents later filed legal action against George.

While fighting his addiction, Culture Club broke up. A sober George launched a solo career in 1992, releasing a few hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Boy George is now a respected dance music DJ.

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