What do Billy Joel, William Hogarth, and Valentino have in common?

Billy Joel Shankbone NYC 2009
Billy Joel at opening night of the 2009 season at the Metropolitan Opera

William Martin Joel more popularly known as Billy Joel is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. He released his first hit song “Piano Man” in 1973, featuring the now classic piano lick and riff. Since then, he went on to become the third best-selling solo artist in the United States. He had 33 Top 40 hits in the US during the 1970s and through the 1990s. He is also a six-time Grammy Award winner.

Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2013, Joel received the Kennedy Center Honors, the country’s highest honor for influencing American culture through the arts.

William Hogarth - Self-Portrait - Google Art Project

William Hogarth was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist. He was born on 10 November 1697 and died on 26 October 1764. He is known as the father of satirical caricatures and moral paintings, a genre which would later develop into cartoons. He gained popularity for his morality paintings. His determination and sturdy middle-class values made him one of the most innovative artists of his generation.

Valentino Liz Hurley Cannes
Valentino with Liz Hurley at the Cannes Film Festival, 2007

Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, more popularly as Valentino, is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the Valentino SpA brand and clothing company.

On 6 July 2006, French president Jacques Chirac awarded Valentino the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. On 24 January 2008, the City of Paris presented him with the Medal of the City of Paris for his services to fashion in the city where he was educated. On 7 September 2011, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology presented him with the sixth annual Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion.

A popular American singer-songwriter, an English painter, and an Italian fashion designer. What do these three prominent personalities have in common?

Hint: a sociable and gentle canine breed is involved.

Billy Joel pug
Billy Joel in Sag Harbor, N.Y., with his pug, Sabrina. Credit: Christian Oth for The New York Times

Billy Joel’s love for dogs, particularly pugs, is well known. His favorite pet Sabrina, pictured with him on the left, joined the great kennel in the sky in 2016. He has another pug, Rosie, which he adopted in 2012.

The Painter and His Pug by William Hogarth
William Hogarth with his Pug, Trump, in 1745.

English painter William Hogarth was the devoted owner of a number of pugs. His 1745 self-portrait, includes his pug, named Trump.

Valentino adores dogs so much that he once named a second line of clothing after his late pug Oliver. Today he owns six pugs: the mother Molly; her sons Milton and Monty; and daughters Margot, Maude, and Maggie.

Valentino’s pugs enjoying a walk on the grounds of his estate near Paris, the Chateau de Wideville

So what do the three prominent personalities have in common?

They are all doting owners of pugs.

The Pug is a breed of dog with physically distinctive features of a wrinkly, short-muzzled face, and a tail curled about the hip. This breed has a fine, glossy coat that comes in a variety of colors, most fawn or black, and a compact square body with well-developed muscles.

pug best in showPugs are well known for their charming and gentle personality. They are strong-willed but rarely aggressive, and are suitable for families with children. Pugs are intuitive and sensitive to the moods of their owners. They are playful and thrive on human companionship. Pugs are often called “shadows” because they follow their owners around and like to strut after them.

In 2004, a pug named Double D Cinoblu’s Masterpiece won the Best in Show award in the prestigious World Dog Show.

pug life

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