Singer George Michael, one of the most recognizable stars of the 1980s, died on Christmas Day. He loved dogs as much as he loved music. Of course, Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou born in East Finchley, London, in 1963, will be remembered as he and Andrew Ridgeley, 18 years later, formed the duo Wham! in 1981; the talented musicians tasted instant success within two years as their debut album Fantastic became UK number one- thus producing a run of hit singles.
There was so much more to this man, even besides his extraordinary music talent. As recently as November, The Times of the UK, reported George Michael leading a group of celebrity pet owners demanding a clampdown on the illegal pet trade. Aiding Blue Cross, a pet charity, the organization continues to raise attention to the scale of the problem and the huge profits being made by criminals selling puppies over the Internet and pet stores. Thousands of puppies are reported imported illegally from European countries and sold online. Michael, Graham Norton, Morrissey, Joanna Lumley, Miranda Richardson and other celebrities have urged the government to give local authorities new powers and resources to regulate breeders and sellers. They described conditions as:
“… horrific welfare issues in pet stores …maggots in animals’ drinking water and puppies having no access to daylight.”
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), during his 2012 tour, the singer and his crew made a photo collage of their animal companions. The collage, dubbed the “Dog Wall” traveled with them everywhere they went, and it was later auctioned off with all proceeds going to a dog charity. Included in the collage were photos of George’s two dogs – Meg and Abbey.
Thames Valley Police said an ambulance arrived at the property in Goring, Oxfordshire, at 1:42p.m. on Christmas Day, adding that his death was being treated as “unexplained but not suspicious.”Paramedics had been called after Michael was discovered by a friend. The family asks that everyone respect their privacy.
Among his most famous songs George Michael wrote, here are just a few of the hits: Club Tropicana, Freedom, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, and Careless Whisper – all of which launched his solo career.
We will miss you George Michael. Thank you for your kindness for those who cannot speak – all of the dogs.
(Photos via George Michael Facebook)
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