Born on October 7th 1959
Cowell attended school at Dover College before dropping out at 16. He floated in and out of jobs, performing poorly in job-interviews set up by his father. He finally landed a job as a mailroom clerk at EMI Music Publishing; owned by his father.
After working for EMI Music Publishing he managed to work his way up to be an assistant to an A&R executive at the company. After that he managed to continue to work up to being a Talent Scout for the company. He left the company during the early 1980s to form a music publishing company called E&S Music with his boss at EMI.
The Company created a few hits, however Cowell left the company after a few years. In 1985 he and partner formed the independent label Fanfare Records which was only marginally successful. The company folded in 1989, due to this Cowell was forced to move back in with his mother.
HE then signed as a consultant with BMG Records later that year, with this success he moved back into his own place and gradually became higher up at BMG. He managed to sign a string of successful acts for the company.
In 2001 he teamed up with Simon Fuller to produce a show where members of the public choose Britain’s next big music star. This lead to a string of shows up to the present date.
Born 18th July 1950
Richard Branson was educated in Stowe School before he went into business at age 16, publishing “Student” magazine. By age 20 he was the subject of a television documentary.
Having originally founded Virgin as a mail order record company, he later opened his first store in London’s Oxford Street.
The Virgin Records music label was formed in 1972.
Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells which was recorded in Virgin’s first recording studio, an Oxfordshire barn, and released in 1973 got a lot of attention and ended up being a considerable best-seller. When the punk era started Virgin signed the Sex Pistols when other record companies refused to sign them – this turned out to be a very good marketing decision.
After the success of the Sex Pistols many other starts were signed up, including: Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds and The Rolling Stones, making Virgin Records a major player in the international music business.
Since then Virgin has expanded into air and rail travel, mobile phones, finance, retail, internet,