Karma certainly can change colors, declared a London [Images] tabloid headline.
The story is about how the singer Boy George, 45, who had declared a few years ago that he had kicked off his drug habits after joining the Hare Krishna movement, will perform his court-ordered community service by picking up trash on New York City streets starting on August 14, for five days.
The British pop icon -- whose hits include Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? -- was sentenced to garbage cleanup duty after he pleaded guilty in March to falsely reporting a break-in at his Manhattan apartment last year.
The New York police reportedly found cocaine in the apartment, though the singer's publicist said at the time of the arrest that it was a mystery to his client how the drugs had turned up in his apartment.
'This is the epitome of community service. It's not like he's going to be working in an air-conditioned office,' a spokesperson for the sanitation department told New York's Daily News newspaper.
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Anthony Ferrara told the singer that if he didn't complete his community service by August 28, he would be sent to jail.
'I've always been a scrubber,' the British-born performer quipped at the time of his sentencing, according to London's The Daily Telegraph. The newspaper added that the singer left it unclear if he was using the American word for cleaner or the British slang for prostitute.
Inspired by his association with the Hare Krishna movement, Boy George -- here photographed at a June 8 concert in London, his first in 12 years -- sang the hit number Bow Down Mister many years ago. He later re-recorded the song with Asha Bhosle [Images]. He has also recently appeared as a guest on the hit British comedy talk show The Kumars at No 42.
Text: Arthur J Pais in New York | Photograph: Getty Images