Culture Club frontman Boy George has been forced to cancel his North American summer tour after U.S. authorities refused to issue him a visa, citing looming legal issues overseas.
George’s 24-date North American trek was scheduled to begin July 11 at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, and wrap August 23 at the House of Blues in Dallas. The tour had included a free concert at the New York City Department of Sanitation’s Family Day in August. He worked for the department in 2006 while performing court-ordered community service in a drug case.
“At the moment, Boy George cannot come to the United States of America because he has been refused permission to enter by the USA Administration,” read a statement from the artist’s management. “This is not in respect of anything he has done in the past but because he is facing a trial in November in London for something that happened in April last year.”
George was arrested last year after a 28-year-old male escort from Norway accused the singer/DJ of false imprisonment and assault. George later denied the allegations and was released on bail.
“George’s lawyers in London have absolutely forbidden us to speak about the facts of that case and all I can say is that George is astounded at the decision and is having lawyers here in the States look at it in the hope that someone will change their mind,” the statement continued. “George really would love to come to America and repay his American fans loyalty and that is why we are asking the US Authorities to reconsider their decision.”
The U.S. Department of State said visa records are confidential so it couldn’t comment.
“I am getting my life together and was really looking forward to performing in concert for all my loyal fans. I love America and I am really sad that it appears that I am not allowed to visit a place I have called home at various times in my life,” George said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
In 2001, George supported the release of his “Essential Mix” collection with a brief DJ-tour of the U.S. George has also toured and performed DJ sets in Australia, Asia, Europe and Canada.
Billboard and The Associated Press contributed to this report.