NEW YORK (AFP) - Boy George on Thursday called off a reunion tour of 1980s pop sensations Culture Club after the British singer discovered a potentially serious problem in his throat.
Culture Club had been due to launch its first US tour in 14 years on Saturday in the California desert resort of Rancho Mirage, followed by dates around the United States and Britain.
But Boy George said that one of his vocal cords had haemorrhaged to the point it would not close fully when he sings.
He said that a Los Angeles doctor diagnosed him with a polyp and warned him of the risk of "irreparable damage" if he went ahead with the tour.
"In true British fashion, I have ignored it, thinking the problem might just be tiredness," he wrote on his Facebook page.
"To say I'm devastated barely touches how I feel," he wrote, adding that he hoped to tour in the future.
Culture Club plans next year to release its first album since 1999, called Tribes. A first single, More Than Silence, features a rock sound with Boy George's voice at times deeper than in some of the band's classics.
Culture Club became an international sensation starting with its first album in 1982, Kissing To Be Clever, which included the smash hit Do You Really Want To Hurt Me.
Boy George, whose real name is George O'Dowd, drew widespread media attention for his androgynous fashion sense and later emerged as an outspoken advocate for gay rights.
The 53-year-old has stayed active outside Culture Club as a solo musician, DJ, memoirist and the writer of the musical Taboo.