Simon Who? Simon Cowell Biography
Who is this Simon Cowell really?
Here's the official version (courtesy of www.IdolOnFox.com)
(though we prefer the astrological versions - www.acumind.com/News/cowell.html)
Born: October 7, 1959
Birthplace: London, England
Simon Cowells music career is now infamous having, over the past 20 years,
shaped what we consider to be modern pop music today.Starting in 1979 with EMI
Music Publishing, Cowell (42) cut his teeth and got a taste for what the public
want, a sense of commercial potential and most importantly; what makes a hit.
It wasn't long before he decided to take these essential qualities and put them
to use for himself, setting up his own label, Fanfare, along with partner Iain
Burton. Fanfare developed throughout the 80's spawning a brace of memorable...
Never slow to recognise a bright young talent, by 1989 BMG had offered Simon
a position as A&R Consultant. It was a relationship which would prove to
be hugely successful, profitable and enduring, in fact since last year Cowell
set-up his own label through BMG, S Records, reflecting the success and vision
he has manifested.
Simon's roster of signing reads like a who's who of pop success stories over
the last decade (including some seemingly unlikely ones). Highlights include,
Curiosity Killed The Cat, Sonia, and cornering the boy band market, bad boys
of pop Five (who disbanded last year) and the global multi-platinum phenomenon,
Westlife. Always pop but never predictable, Simon has enjoyed some of his most
successful signings by always keeping an eye firmly on the TV world, sensing
a public following and always being the first knocking on the door. The Power
Rangers, World Wrestling Federation, Zig & Zag and the Xmas Number 1 smash
Teletubbies moved from the small box to the airwaves due to Simon, although,
he claims his biggest shock success would come in the form of Robson & Jerome.
After convincing the unassuming TV actors that they had what it takes, Cowell
and BMG watched Robson & Jerome notch up an incredible string of hit singles,
holding the record for being the first act to debut with 3 consecutive number
1 singles (ironically they were later to lose this record to Westlife who hold
the record for 7 consecutive number 1 singles and now famously have achieved
a staggering 10 number 1's).
Making records and breaking them, in the last 10 years, Cowell has achieved
sales of over 25 million albums, over 70 top 30 records and 17 number 1 singles.
The key to a successful A&R career is of course always keeping one eye
on the 'next big thing', and now Cowell along with Simon Fuller, another of
the music industry's most talented and innovative stars, are doing just that.
Having seen the amazing success the 'Popstars' series achieved and the level
to which the public got involved, Cowell and Fuller wanted to go one step further
and let the public choose who will be the biggest solo star in the UK. Thus,
the conception of Pop Idols in Autumn.
"I thought the Popstars series was just brilliant and was amazed by the
level of public interest and involvement, but I think in many cases, the public
would enjoy a project of this type even more if they got to choose who wins.
It's like the ultimate in interactive television and of course by the time we
have a winner, the record buying public will already feel that they have a vested
interest in the artist. There's so much raw talent out there, Popstars certainly
proved that, but that show was about putting together a band which looked right
together. We're purely concerned with the talent of the entrants and I'm absolutely
convinced that we're going to find a future superstar"
In the wings for the nation's Pop Idol was an album deal with BMG teamed with
the priceless advice of Cowell and Fuller's management and A&R expertise.
In other words, the person who the public chooses has the guarantee of a very
exciting future in music, which explains the audition figures of 10,000; the
most extensive auditions to ever be staged.
And the public did choose. Pop Idols became compulsive viewing on a Saturday
for television audiences over a staggering 11 million. The public voted by their
millions and felt compelled to have their say (more so than a governmental election.)
The standard of contestants were impeccable and consequently more than one winning
talent was signed to BMG.
As the winner Will Young registered a mind blowing 4.6 million votes and the
runner-up Gareth Gates registered a similarly impressive figure of 4.1 million.
Other Pop Idols that captured the eye and ear of Cowell included Sarah Whatmore.
Each individual having that certain 'je ne sais quoi' with the talent, power
and conviction to ensure that their bright future would be a long standing one.
With the debut release of Will Young's double A-side, 'Evergreen'/'Anything
Is Possible', records were broken for the biggest single ever with sales nearing
an unbelievable 2 million (1.8 to be exact!) Will Young occupied the top spot
for 3 weeks stepping down 4 weeks later for Gareth Gates, who consequently is
now the youngest British male to get a solo Number 1. With his debut single,
'Unchained Melody', Gareth Gates shifted an amazing 1 million records in the
first week (not bad for a runner up, hey!) and also became the second fastest-selling
debut of all time.
With the success of this single S Records/RCA went on to secure its third successive
Number 1 with three different artists (Westlife, Will Young and Gareth Gates.)
This was last achieved in October 1999, again with RCA (Christina Aguilera)
and S Records (Westlife and Five.)
Pop Idol was that launch pad for Will Young and Gareth Gates whose talents
were deservedly unleashed by the public. With Cowell's direction and expertise
expect more records to be broken and both Will Young's and Gareth Gates metamorphosis
as two of the biggest British solo artists for today.