Boy George Responds to ‘Recycling’ Kylie Minogue’s ‘Tension’ Artwork

If imitation if the greatest form of flattery, Kylie Minogue should feel mighty chuffed indeed following the release of Boy George’s new single, “Religion.”

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The former Culture Club frontman this week shared the standalone single “Religion,” one of two songs included in the audiobook of his 2023 memoir Karma: My Autobiography (the other, “Suddenly I’m Wiser,” is not widely available on streaming platforms).

When “Religion” dropped on DSPs, X (formerly known as Twitter) had words. Eagle-eyed social media users spotted the cover art’s close resemblance to that of Minogue’s Tension album, which led the U.K. and Australian albums charts following its release in 2023.

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George batted away the critics left and right.

“I’m recycling everything. It’s all the rage. Even fashion is catching on?,” he wrote in one post. In response to one particularly agitated comment, he assured the copycat image was “utter genius.” He returned serve on one poster who described the artwork as “pathetic,” and quipped that he “broke wind,” a retort to a Daily Mail headline which reads, “Boy George breaks silence after ‘copying’ Kylie’s album cover.

Both artists launched their careers in the 1980s. George (real name George O’Dowd), the flamboyant singer with Culture Club, was, for a time in the early-to-mid ‘80s, one of the most recognizable artists on the planet.

Culture Club captured six top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including a No. 1 with 1983’s “Karma Chameleon.” Its parent album Colour By Numbers peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

When the band was dissolved in 1986, George embarked on a solo career, which was briefly derailed by substance abuse, controversy and legal problems, before the singer reinvented himself as a club DJ, returned to the stage and studio, and found regular work on reality TV. In 2015, he snagged the Ivor Novello Award for outstanding contribution to British Music, one of the U.K. industry’s highest honors.

Kylie is in a purple patch. The Aussie “princess of pop” recently signed with UTA for live representation in the U.S. and Canada, as well as “acting endeavors” worldwide. Her Vegas residency has been extended, she recently won her second Grammy, for best pop dance recording with “Padam Padam,” the U.K. top 10 hit from Tension; she’s nominated for international artist of the year at the 2024 Brit Awards, where she’ll receive its Global Icon Award; and next month, she’ll scoop Billboard’s Women in Music Icon Award.⁠

Tension is the ninth No. 1 album for Kylie in the U.K., where she is the first ever female artist — and second artist overall — to bag a No. 1 album in five consecutive decades.

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