Recently I’ve been wading through the inexplicably epic biography, Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell by Tom Bower. It’s the same book that revealed Simon’s relationship with Dannii Minogue, but I’m not interested in his personal life. I’m just here for the pop gossip, and luckily there’s lots of it! I thought I’d share some of the best bits so you don’t have to bother putting yourself through all 480 pages.
- Simon not only missed out on …Baby One More Time for Five (Max Martin chose to give it to Britney instead, which confused Simon as he thought her name was too silly to be a popstar) but also Bye Bye Bye by *N Sync, which the British band said was “a bag of shit.” And that’s why this article exists.
- When Ronan Keating masqueraded as the co-manager of Sony-signed Westlife, it was against the wishes of his own label Universal and his bandmates. Polydor director Lucian Grainge (now CEO of Universal) apparently nicknamed them “Lowlife.”
- Simon was “obsessed” with Naima from The Honeyz, and desperately tried to woo her with no luck. Her manager asked him to leave her alone, saying “She’s very young and she doesn’t fancy you.” Ouch!
- Simon and RCA (the label he worked for before Syco) fought off “a lot of competition” to sign Scottish boy duo Mero and believed they’d be bigger than Wham! and the Spice Girls. Simon’s explanation for the flop? “I wasn’t involved enough.” Definitely not the outdated song, image and concept, then?
- Other acts he was involved with (not even counting all the awful TV stars-turned-singers) include boybands Ultimate Kaos and Worlds Apart, and Spice Girl wannabes Girl Thing. The day Last One Standing reached only no.8 in the midweeks after what even I, aged 12, knew was a ridiculously big budget campaign, was termed “Black Tuesday.”
- However, he turned down the chance to work with Simon Fuller on the launches of S.O.A.P and 21st Century Girls, and to invest in the Popworld website, which in the early Internet boom days was expected to earn £300 million. So where’s my £300 million for launching a pop website??
That’s as far as I’ve got so far (I’ve been reading the book for weeks and I’m still only 1/4 through!) but I’ll be back soon with more pop snippets.