Boy George didn’t take part in the 1985 Live Aid concert because he was ‘otherwise engaged chemically.’
The former Culture Club frontman has revealed his band were asked to perform at the landmark concert – which was held on July 13 1985 to raise money for the Ethiopian famine – but organizers “didn’t follow up” on the request because of George’s battle with a drug addiction.
Speaking to Louis Theroux on his ‘Grounded’ podcast, he said: “I messed it up. I was otherwise engaged chemically. I mean, I think it was a stroke of luck that we didn’t do it because I wasn’t in a fit state to do it.
“We were originally asked but then I think everyone was just looking at the state of me and going, ‘this might be more harmful than good’. So, they basically didn’t follow up on it.”
And whilst the ‘Karma Chameleon’ hitmaker didn’t take to the stage alongside the likes of Queen, U2, Dire Straits, David Bowie, The Who and Sir Elton John, he did contribute to the Band Aid supergroup single ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’.
Meanwhile, George previously said he’d been given a new lease of life since kicking his drug habit over 10 years ago.
He said: “As you know, if you’re in recovery, it’s amazing to think that you could go this long without being a mess.
“It’s like, you get through the other side and you get a life beyond your wildest dreams, you know, because recovery really does set you free.”
The singer – whose real name is George O’Dowd – also revealed he suffered from panic attacks throughout the 90s, and said he thought he was going to die when the attacks were particularly extreme.
He explained: “When you’re in the public eye, you’re going along and then suddenly … you realise you’re not so in control of your life as you think you are.
“I had a period in the 90s, had these really bad panic attacks, I used to go to the Royal Free Hospital and freak out. There was nothing wrong with me. I thought, ‘I’m dying!’
“Eventually somebody just said to me, ‘You need to learn how to breathe, change your diet, maybe try yoga …’ just calming down.
“It wasn’t chest pains … just panic. It’s not logical. Sometimes there’s no symptoms, you’re just like, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ You just lose it.”