The Culture Club singer, real name George O'Dowd, was incarcerated for four months in 2009 after being convicted of falsely imprisoning a male escort in his London home.

George's jail sentence came after a long battle against drug and alcohol addiction and a litany of legal troubles.

In 2006 a New York judge sentenced him to five days of community service, fined him $1,000 ($£710) and ordered him to attend a drug rehabilitation programme after he pleaded guilty to falsely reporting a burglary.

The musician, who this year (16) took up a role as a judge on TV talent contest The Voice U.K., says his time in prison helped him beat his personal demons and revitalise his career.

“My appetite for self-destruction and misery is greatly diminished. I’m not interested in being unhappy,” he tells Britain's Evening Standard magazine, adding, "I always had the sense that I'd get through it (his jail sentence). The gift it gave me was time with myself. I went into prison sober. I knew I had a lot of work to do.

"I've worked very hard at getting myself back in shape, getting my career back, getting my self-respect back."

Since his release, the Karma Chameleon singer has transformed his unhealthy lifestyle, as he now abstains from alcohol, cigarettes, sugar, foods containing gluten and meat. He is also a practising Buddhist.

George has also been taking up new hobbies and wants to learn how to ski, saying, "When I was younger I was like, 'I'm not going to do that (skiing), I won't be any good at it.' You get to 50 and you feel like you want to learn stuff."

The singer released his first new solo material in 18 years in 2013 and is now an in demand TV personality.

In addition to his role on The Voice UK, George will soon be seen on U.S.screens in the new series of Celebrity Apprentice, which will see stars compete to impress the show's new host Arnold Schwarzenegger.