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‘When You Wish Upon a Star‘, ‘Whistle While You Work‘, ‘A Whole New World‘ and ‘Let It Go‘ – these are lyrics indelibly linked to Disney, one of the most admired and best-known companies in the world, known by the tagline ‘The Happiest Place on Earth‘. So when Roy E Disney, chairman of Disney animation, abruptly resigned in November 2003 and declared war on chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner, he sent shock waves throughout the world.
DisneyWar is the dramatic inside story of what drove this iconic entertainment company to civil war, told by one of America’s most acclaimed journalists. Drawing on unprecedented access to both Eisner and Roy Disney, current and former Disney executives and board members, as well as hundreds of pages of never-before-seen letters and memos, James B Stewart gets to the bottom of mysteries that have enveloped Disney for years. In riveting detail, Stewart also lays bare the creative process that lies at the heart of Disney. Even as the executive suite has been engulfed in turmoil, Disney has worked – and sometimes clashed – with a glittering array of Hollywood players, many of who tell their stories here for the first time.
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Simon is an English television music and talent show judge, A&R executive, businessman, talent manager, television producer, critic and entrepreneur. He has judged on the British TV talent competition series Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, and the American TV talent competition shows American Idol, The X Factor USA and America’s Got Talent. Simon is the principal, founder and CEO of the British entertainment company, Syco.
Simon often makes blunt and controversial comments as a television show judge, including insults and wisecracks about contestants and their singing abilities. He combines activities in both the television and music industries. Simon has produced and promoted singles and albums for various singers whom he has taken under his wing. He is popularly known for signing successful boybands such as Westlife, One Direction and CNCO.
In 2004 and 2010, Time magazine named Simon one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2008, The Telegraph ranked him sixth in their list of the ‘100 most powerful people in British culture.’
In December 2003, Simon published his autobiography titled I Don’t Mean to be Rude, but …. (Amazon: UK | USA). In it, he told the whole story of his childhood, his years working in music and experiences in television and his tips for being successful as a pop star.
Simon has been involved in charity work for many years. He is a patron of Together for Short Lives, the leading UK charity for all children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. He was patron of Children’s Hospices UK between (2009-11) before it merged to become Together for Short Lives. He also supports animal rights and has appeared in a video for PETA in which he reminds drivers of the cruelty to animals that can occur when their pets are locked in cars in the summer. He donated money to Manchester and Cheshire Dogs’ Home in England after it was hit by a large fire. In view of his charitable works, particularly the production of the charity single ‘Everybody Hurts‘ in aid of victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, as well as his services to the music industry, there was considerable media speculation as to whether Simon would receive a knighthood in the Queen’s 2010 Birthday Honours, a proposal allegedly put forward by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
On 1 July 2007, Simon appeared as a speaker at the Concert for Diana held at Wembley Stadium, London, to celebrate the life of Diana, Princess of Wales almost 10 years after her death. Proceeds from the concert went to Diana’s charities as well as to charities of which her sons Princes William (Duke of Cambridge) and Harry (Duke of Sussex) are patrons.
At the Pride of Britain Awards on 30 October 2012, Simon took part in reciting Rudyard Kipling‘s poem ‘If-‘ in tribute to the 2012 British Olympic and Paralympics athletes. In October 2013 Simon took part in a fund-raising event in Los Angeles in support of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. The event raised $20 million and Simon made a personal donation of USD $150,000.
To raise money for the families of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017 and for The London Community Foundation, Simon arranged the recording and release of a charity single ‘Bridge over Troubled Water‘. Simon collaborated with a number of vocalists for the single – including Robbie Williams, Dua Lipa, Stormzy, Craig David, Liam Payne, Roger Daltrey and Rita Ora – and the song reached #1 in the Official UK Singles Charts.