Out singer George Michael, who has spoken out against a U.S.-led war on Iraq, says most other pop acts are too lightweight to carry off a peace protest song. The former Wham! front man criticized plans by Lee Ryan of British boy band Blue to gather stars for a paean to peace. Ryan said last week that he hoped to approach stars such as Justin Timberlake, Pink, and Kylie Minogue for a song in the spirit of Band Aid, the 1984 collaboration by U.K. pop stars to aid Ethiopian famine victims.
But Michael said the prospective participants are too young and politically naive to carry it off. "I'm begging, I'm hoping that there will not be a Band Aid 2 because the reality is that very, very few people in the industry now, that you're hearing on the radio, make their money from their own hearts and minds," said Michael, who performed on Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in 1984. "They make their money from singing the words of others, and so therefore the weight of something called Band Aid 2 would be incredibly slight," he told the BBC's Hardtalk program in comments broadcast Wednesday.
Ryan said last week that he had written a song called "Stand Up as People," whose chorus runs: "When are we gonna stand up as people / Realize that as people we're all equal / We don't want no world war sequel / For the love of God think of the people." He said proceeds from the single would go to charities such as War Child, a consortium to help children affected by war. Last summer Michael released "Shoot the Dog," a song and video satirizing U.S. foreign policy in which British prime minister Tony Blair was depicted as President Bush's obedient poodle. At last week's Brit Awards, R&B singer Ms. Dynamite performed a retooled version of Michael's hit "Faith," with lyrics expressing opposition to war in Iraq.