Boy George Writes Ode to Amy Winehouse from Prison
Amy Winehouse has had a tough go of it. Her once-successful and promising career stalled because of her legal problems and rampant substance abuse. She has a tempestuous relationship with ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, and escaped to the island of St. Lucia for several months to elude the paparazzi who hang around hoping to find her wandering the London streets half-dressed at 5:00 a.m. again (as she did one morning in 2007).
But at least one person can sympathize with Winehouse’s problems. Former Culture Club singer Boy George experienced myriad drug problems at the height of his popularity in the 1980s. In 2005, George’s legal problems multiplied when he was ordered to do community service in the U.S. for falsely reporting a robbery. What followed were some deeply humbling pictures of the ’80s icon in an orange vest, picking up litter by the side of the highway.
Then, this year, George was in trouble yet again, sentenced to 15 months in a British prison for tying up and beating a male escort in his London flat. He served four months of the sentence and was released in May, wearing a monitorial ankle bracelet for an additional three months.
Nevertheless, the time in prison was fruitful for the pop star. He created a bevy of new songs which will come out next year, including one entitled “Your Pain Makes a Beautiful Sound” dedicated to Amy Winehouse. The song reportedly includes the lines, "You’re a genius, you’re a car crash/ It’s hard to say what you do best.”
Boy George has always been an outspoken Winehouse-sympathizer in the face of her legal troubles and battles with addiction, and the two hit it off when they met backstage at George’s 2007 gig at the Koko club in London. He wrote the second verse of his 2008 single, “Yes We Can,” in honor of Winehouse.
In January 2008, George told the Daily Telegraph, “I love Amy Winehouse… She reminds me of myself in the early days of Culture Club. She really inspired me to sing again.”
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