Inside Boy George's Relationship With Janet Jackson

Boy George looked straight into the camera. "Next time you meet someone, be nice." The advice, which is good for anyone to hear, was, in this case, specifically aimed at one of the flamboyant pop star's fellow performers, Janet Jackson. Boy George had just met her backstage at the television music show "Solid Gold," according to his book "Karma: My Autobiography."

The meeting hadn't gone well, and in retaliation, when someone stuck a camera in Boy George's face and asked him to record a message for Jackson, he let her know in no uncertain terms how he felt. She later said she didn't recognize him, but over the years, Jackson has allegedly continued to snub him. The latest instance was in 2019 when he performed at the British Fashion Awards and Jackson sat with her back to him through the performance. "It's 1000% easier to be nice," Boy George told People. "Not only is it easier to be nice as it's better for you."

All that glitters

Boy George said he first met Janet Jackson around 1986, per "Karma." Just three years earlier Boy George and his band Culture Club had shot to the top of the charts with their second album, "Colour by Numbers." According to per Culture Club, heavy MTV rotation and the singular style of its lead singer, who broke gender norms, propelled Boy George into the spotlight. In 1986, Janet Jackson released her second album, "Control," which became a huge hit, selling more than 8 million records worldwide (per Biography).

Boy George, a fan of Jackson's music, saw her onset and told her he loved her new single "What Have You Done For Me Lately." Not recognizing the singer because he was dressed down, Jackson "wasn't friendly and didn't try to be," Boy George recalled in "Karma." Jackson later called him into her dressing room. When she explained she hadn't recognized him, he told her that made it worse. "Are you saying you would have been nice to me if you knew who I was?" he asked pointedly. Jackson apparently didn't appreciate Boy George's comment based on their next two encounters.

The third time was not a charm

The next time Boy George and Janet Jackson ran into each other — "a few years" after their first meeting in the U.S. on the set of "Solid Gold" — was at the British show "Top of the Pops." This time Jackson "looked straight through me," Boy George recounted in "Karma." Fast forward to December 2019. The British Fashion Awards, held in London, saw both Boy George and Janet Jackson take the stage. Jackson presented an award, while Boy George serenaded the fashion world's aristocracy.

Even with more than 30 years having passed since they'd first met, Jackson once again snubbed Boy George during his performance of "Everything I Own." She "had her back" to him and "stayed that way throughout" his performance, he wrote. Even after this third less-than-friendly encounter, Boy George told People that he's "always someone who's prepared to bury the hatchet because there's always another opportunity to be different." That being said, he's not holding his breath for a reconciliation with Jackson. "At this point, there's certain people I'm never gonna be friends with unless a miracle happens — and I guess I put her in that category," he told the magazine.