Boy George Once Compared Himself to Dolly Parton: ‘People Really Freak out When She Comes to England’

Dolly Parton tends to cause a stir wherever she goes, and fellow music star Boy George once pointed out that was something they have in common besides their talent.

Whether in America or England, he said people would really “freak out” over the stars in the ’80s. And he noted that despite their differences on the surface, some individuals tried to give them “the same hassles” in both places.

Read on to learn more about how George feels he’s come “full circle” in his long career, how he related to Parton early on, and what happened when the two superstars eventually collaborated.

Boy George (L) once compared himself to Dolly Parton (R)
(L) Boy George | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images (R) Dolly Parton | Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Boy George has had a long career but has no plans to become ‘Man George’

Born as George Alan O’Dowd in London in 1961, Boy George rose to prominence in the ’80s as the voice of Culture Club. But just because he’s in his seventh decade doesn’t mean he plans on changing his stage name to reflect outward aging.

“I didn’t want to confuse people by becoming The Artist Formerly Known as,” George shared with The Hollywood Reporter in 2014. “Boy George is a brand that I created and is familiar to people.”

He added, “Heaven knows they’ve had enough confusion. I’m not deluded. I know I’m an older man, but I’m a boy at heart.”

“Life is about learning to be yourself, and I think I’ve gone in this interesting full circle. In spirit, I’m very much back to the person I was when I first started my career,” George concluded.

Boy George said Dolly Parton ‘would be quite outrageous in England’ in the ’80s

In an ’80s interview with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, George pushed back against the idea that he stood out in the American music industry. Carson thought the singer’s aesthetic was “much more acceptable” where he came from in England.

“Well, you’ve got Dolly Parton,” George replied. “Dolly Parton would be quite outrageous in England. You know, people really freak out when she comes to England.”

He explained that he didn’t see any difference between the places or the responses to stars who dared to express themselves in unconventional ways. “You get the same hassles in England as you do in America,” he noted.

Boy George and Dolly Parton once traded makeup tips

In 2003, George joined “quite outrageous” forces with Parton for a song called “Your Kisses Are Charity,” and the “Jolene” singer talked about the experience of working with him while talking with the press at a Wal-Mart in Franklin, Tennessee (CMT).

The Steel Magnolias star shared one complimentary complaint about her collaborator after they performed together: “He outdid me on the makeup!”

“I kind of got jealous because he had outdressed me. I wish I would have known because I had some gaudier stuff as well,” Parton confessed.

But there was only love between them in the end. “I loved his makeup. I love the way he does his eyes, and he loves the way I do mine,” she shared.

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