Dinah O'Dowd, the Irish-born-and-raised mother to pop icon Boy George, passed away on Monday, March 13.
"I am very sad to confirm the news of the passing of Boy George’s beloved mother Dinah," Paul 'PK' Kemsley, Boy George's manager, said in a statement on Monday.
"George is devastated as are the family. They were all by her bedside when she passed and George was holding her hand.
"He wants me to extend his deep gratitude to the huge out pouring of love and support he is receiving and whilst he can’t respond he feels grateful and the messages help.
"George and his family would politely now request some privacy to be able to grieve and come to terms with their heartbreaking loss."
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Dinah O'Dowd was born in Dublin and grew up in the inner city on Wellington Street. She had her first child, Richard, when she was 18 years old. Richard's father Seamus had 'disappeared' a few months before the child was born, leaving Dinah as a single mother.
At 19, Dinah headed to London, leaving her infant son with her parents in Ireland. In a 2007 interview, she recalled "the shame, with everybody looking at me, whispering, knowing I had an infant but didn't have a husband. It was the done thing in Ireland in the Fifties. It wasn't like now."
In London, Dinah met Jeremiah 'Jerry' O'Dowd, who was of Irish descent. They married in 1959 and together had five children - Kevin, George, Gerald, David, and Siobhán. Dinah and Jerry remained married until 1999, but they had a tumultuous relationship, with Jerry often beating Dinah. Jerry died in 2004.
In a foreword for his mother's 2007 book "Cry Salty Tears," Boy George wrote: "As a bratty teenager, I am ashamed to say that I started to think of Mum as weak because I couldn't understand why she stayed in such a destructive marriage.
"Once I grew up a bit, I realized that Mum had stuck out the marriage for her kids and because she truly loved my father and believed in the sanctity of marriage."
George and Dinah enjoyed a close relationship. In 1982, she made a brief cameo in the video for Culture Club's hit "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" - she can be seen at 1:34.
In a 2014 interview with the Irish Voice, sister publication to IrishCentral, Cahir O'Doherty asked George if he ever wondered what life would have been like had his parents stayed in Ireland.
“Well, when we went there as kids it was like going back in time," George recalled. "Things that we could do at home we weren’t allowed to do at my aunt’s house in Ireland.
“Say like read certain newspapers, watch certain TV programs or stay inside – we were always told go out! Not that that didn’t happen at home. There were just a bit more rules in Dublin about what kids could and couldn’t do.
"We definitely had far too much personality for some of our relatives in Ireland back then. My mum was told, ‘Look at the way you’re bringing up these kids!’”
George, who was into Bowie and pop music, felt Ireland to be quite restrictive then. But there were also lots of good things about it, he says.
“My mum’s sister Phyllis lives in Finglas (Dublin) and they were more relaxed than the cousins in Tipperary. There was a different spirit in Ireland that was quite exciting.”
Last year, when Boy George was on the UK reality show "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!," Dinah told MailOnline: "George and I are very close and I'm so very proud of him.
"He is always there for me," she said, adding, "I am waiting to hug him when he gets home."