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George Michael Denounces Protest Song

British pop singer George Michael, who has spoken out against a possible war on Iraq, has criticized plans by Lee Ryan of British boy band Blue to gather pop stars to record a protest song.

Ryan said last week he hoped to approach stars such as Justin Timberlake, Pink and Kylie Minogue for a song in the spirit of Band Aid, the 1984 record to aid Ethiopian famine relief.

But Michael, 39, said the prospective participants were 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?”

“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 British Broadcasting Corp.’s “Hardtalk” program in comments broadcast Wednesday.

Ryan said he’d written a song titled, “Stand up as People,” with the chorus: “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 that 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.

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