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Monday, November 1, 1999 Published at 12:31 GMT


More Karma from Boy George

Culture Club had their heyday in the 1980s

Pop star Boy George is set to revive his band's hit single Karma Chameleon, 16 years after it topped the charts.

Culture Club's flamboyant frontman is to re-record the group's biggest number one with the help of 100 backing singers plucked from obscurity.

George's new collaborators are the winners of Kiosk Karaoke, a competition launched by BT payphones earlier this year.

It aims to raise awareness for Message Home - run by the National Missing Persons helpline - which enables those who have left, or run away from home, to contact their families.

[ image: Boy George has had success as a DJ since the band's split]
Boy George has had success as a DJ since the band's split
George said of the new version of the 1983 hit: "Everybody seems to remember Karma Chameleon with affection because it's such an upbeat, happy song, with a memorable chorus.

"I'm looking forward to re-recording it with what must surely be Britain's most original backing band ever."

The winners of Kiosk Karaoke include schoolchildren, a mother of four, a milkman and a club bouncer.

Almost 20,000 hopefuls auditioned via BT's 140,000 phone boxes for a chance to sing on the millennium version of the Culture Club hit.

To book their place, entrants had to sing 30 seconds of a favourite song down the line. Five hundred finalists were then put through their paces by music industry experts at 10 regional finals to find the 100 winners.

Karma Chameleon was the UK's biggest selling single of 1983 and spent six weeks at the top of the charts.

It went to number one in America in 1984, making Culture Club the first band since The Beatles to have five consecutive Top 10 hits in the US from a debut album.

Boy George is set to go on the road again with the band, which split in 1986, when they tour Britain before Christmas.

The group, whose other hits included Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? and Church Of The Poison Mind, re-formed last year with a new single I Just Wanna Be Loved.

They also completed a seven-week sell-out US tour.

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