Boy George Talks About George Michael Rivalry On ‘Watch What Happens Live’
George Michael and Boy George were members of two of the UK’s biggest pop exports in the 1980s — Wham! and Culture Club, respectively. But Michael’s decision at the time to stay in the closet irked George, and the pair had a chilly relationship for decades. (“People saw me as the benchmark queer while George Michael was passing himself off as a straight stud,” Boy George reportedly said in 2005. “In fact, he was loitering in public loos like some pre-war homosexual. It’s one thing to keep quiet. It’s another to pretend you’re someone you’re not.”)
The two pop icons did make amends before Michael’s death at the age of 53 on December 25 last year, and George cleared the air about the past feud during a January 24 appearance on Watch What Happens Live.
“I think in the early days we were competition to each other. Both called George, we both made soul music, so in the early days we were really in competition,” George explained to host Andy Cohen. “Then sort of later on I started to really appreciate what he was as a musician, around about Faith. I started to really appreciate his talent.”
George went on to explain that he and Michael were in touch in recent years, and, yes, they did have a feud over Michael staying in the closet during the early part of his career. “In the ’80s, Pete Burns, me — we all used to be really bitchy about each other,” he said. “It was the thing that you did in the ’80s.”
Watch Boy George chat about his frenemy George Michael on WWHL above.