Dita Von Teese wants people to be aware of the “staggering statistics” of people suffering with HIV and AIDS.
The 44-year-old burlesque dancer has been working closely with amfAR – the Foundation for AIDS Research – for their ‘The Time Is Now’ project, in which she leant her voice to the Boy George hit ‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?’ alongside singer-songwriter Sebastian Tellier.
She said of her work with amfAR: “During my two years of service with [amfAR], I learned a lot about the staggering statistics of young people becoming infected with HIV. It’s an important cause to me because I think that there are more and more young people that aren’t concerned about this disease, while the facts show that we should be.”
The project is a compilation album of 1980s hits, which was created to benefit the foundation and its research. The 14 track album includes performances from artists such as DNCE, Phantogram, and even Scarlett Johansson under her band Sugar for Sugar.
Whilst Dita is quick to claim she’s “not a singer”, she says she still wanted to to get involved with the project because she wants “to be of service” to the foundation.
She said: “I am not a singer by any means, in fact, it puts me way out of my comfort zone, which is another reason I like doing it I suppose. I think somewhere along the way someone told me I couldn’t sing, so it’s kind of fun for me to do it when an artist I respect as much as Sebastien believes in me and asks me to do it. And, of course I find it hard to deny amfAR anything they ask of me because I want to be of service however I can.”
And despite being apprehensive about the song choice, Dita says she received a “very kind compliment” from Boy George himself when he heard the track.
She told Galore Magazine: “The only way to cover such an iconic song with a voice as beautiful as Boy George’s is to do something very different. I think it would be ridiculous for just about anyone to try to re-sing that song, so I just talked my way through it! While I was doing it I kept thinking, ‘Oh gosh, please don’t let Boy George ever hear this…!’ But he did and gave me a very kind compliment on it.”