George of Pop: George Michael or Boy George? | The Tylt

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George of Pop: George Michael or Boy George?

George Michael got his start as the lead singer of the popular duo Wham! in the early '80s, becoming a direct rival to the Culture Club. And Wham! gave the other pop groups from the U.K. a run for their money.

After the group's debut album "Fantastic" became a success in the U.K., the duo had a worldwide breakthrough with their sophomore album "Make It Big." They scored a series of worldwide hits, including "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Careless Whisper," "Freedom" and "Everything She Wants."

The duo maximized on their success with a followup album "Music from the Edge of Heaven" in 1986, scoring more hits "Last Christmas, "I'm Your Man" and "Edge of Heaven." But the pair's success ended after their third album, because George Michael was clearly the star of the duo. He embarked on a solo career, and went on to become one of pop music's greatest icons.

George Michael teamed up with the Queen of Soul to launch his solo career with "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" in 1987, scoring his first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 as George Michael. "I Want Your Sex" and the album's title single, "Faith," followed.

With his debut album "Faith," George Michael went from pop heartthrob to sex symbol. But not only that, "Faith" sold more than 10 million albums in the U.S., garnering diamond certification by the Recording Industry Association of America. And how could it not? The album gave us funky pop, R&B and soul with hits like "Father Figure" and "One More Try." "Faith" is now at #472 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.

George Michael's success continued into the '90s with his sophomore album "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1" and his third studio album, "Older," showing longevity as an artist.

While he didn't come out as a gay man during the height of his success, but George Michael did come out in 1998—then becoming a gay rights activist and HIV/AIDS fundraiser.


Following his collaboration with Aretha Franklin, "I Want Your Sex" actually became George Michael's first solo pop hit. 

Below are some notable lyrics to streamy hot track, per Genius.

🎤I swear I won’t tease you
Won’t tell you no lies
Don’t need no Bible
Just look in my eyes
I’ve a'waited so long baby
Now that we’re friends
Every man’s got his patience
And here’s where mine ends🎤

Watch the music video below, and you'll see how GM became a sex symbol.


Boy George became an international superstar as the lead singer of Culture Club, with their debut album "Kissing to Be Clever" in late 1982. "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The pop ballad also mixed blue-eyed soul, new wave and reggae into one of pop culture's most memorable smashes ever. 

But the Culture Club was no one-hit wonder. The band returned with their sophomore album "Colour by Numbers," featuring their signature, worldwide #1 pop hit "Karma Chameleon." "Colour by Numbers" was voted one of the "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die."

While Boy George launched his own solo career in the '80s, the bolder artist didn't garnered the same international success like George Michael. But Culture Club left their mark on pop music, garnering more hits throughout the late '80s.

Some would regard Boy George as the George of Pop. He still has one of the most distinctive looks and styles ever in pop music. He quickly became an androgynous icon in the '80s, often sporting big hair and makeup. Boy George was much bolder and open than George Michael was in the '80s and '90s, and he has remained as such. 

Having defied gender norms and being more open about his sexuality, Boy George is also regarded as a gay icon. 


"Karma Chameleon" is arguably the Culture Club's most signature song. (But "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" could lay claim to that title.)

Below are some significant lyrics to "Karma Chameleon," also thanks to Genius.

🎶Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon
You come and go, you come and go
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
Red gold and green, red gold and green🎶

Check out the music video to catchy hit below.


#TeamGeorgeMichael because this iconic sex symbol is one of pop music's greatest entertainers of all time.


#TeamBoyGeorge because this blue-eyed soul singer is a groundbreaking androgynous icon.


Listen to George Michael's greatest smash hits below on Spotify.


Listen to the most iconic essentials from Boy George and the Culture Club below on Spotify. 

George of Pop: George Michael or Boy George?
A festive crown for the winner