Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller
Born (1960-05-17) 17 May 1960
Origin Hastings, East Sussex, England, UK
Occupation(s) Talent manager, A&R representative, television producer, creator of the Idol franchise
Years active 1981–present
Labels 19 Entertainment (1985–2010)
XIX Entertainment (2010–)
Associated acts David and Victoria Beckham, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Andy Murray, Annie Lennox, Spice Girls, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Amy Winehouse, Cathy Dennis, Carrie Underwood, Will Young, Lisa Marie Presley, Adelén, Steven Tyler, David Cook, S Club 7, Adam Lambert, Lewis Hamilton and others

Simon Fuller (born 17 May 1960) is an English entrepreneur, artist manager and television producer. He is best known for being the creator of the Idol franchise, which was first seen in the UK under the name Pop Idol, and includes American Idol in the U.S.[1] Fuller is the executive producer of many other hit shows including the Fox TV reality shows So You Think You Can Dance and Q'Viva.

One of the most influential figures in British popular culture, Fuller came to prominence through managing pop group the Spice Girls.[2] He has managed a wide range of talent that includes David and Victoria Beckham, Annie Lennox, S Club 7, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Steven Tyler, Lewis Hamilton, Andy Murray, Amy Winehouse, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Will Young, Emma Bunton, Lisa Marie Presley, Gary Barlow, Cathy Dennis, Aloe Blacc, Steve McManaman and others. He is in partnership with the duo Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.

In 2007, Time magazine named Fuller one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[3] In 2008, Fuller was certified as the most successful British music manager of all time by Billboard magazine.[4] Fuller received the 2,441st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 23 May 2011.[5] The 2012 Sunday Times Rich List values Fuller at £375m; the sixth richest music millionaire in the UK.[6] In the Daily Mail music promoter Harvey Goldsmith ranked Fuller at No.1 in a list of the greatest British entrepreneurs, commenting "he is a man of real vision".[1]

Business background

Fuller began his career in 1981 at Chrysalis in A&R (Chrysalis Records) in the UK,[7] where he signed Madonna's first hit 'Holiday' to the company. He started his own management company in London in 1985, 19 Entertainment,[8] eventually selling the business to CKX, Inc. in a cash and stock deal worth over $200 million in March 2005.[9] In 2008 the company delivered a profit of $92.5 million (£66m) into the parent company.[10] Fuller became a director of CKX, a position which gave him creative control over all of CKX's assets including the Elvis Presley Estate, Muhammad Ali’s business interests, and other iconic rights properties, until January 2010 when he started a new firm, XIX Entertainment, while continuing to work with CKX/19 as a consultant and executive producer.[11] XIX Entertainment was given a valuation of $100 million. It is run from offices in London, Los Angeles and Nashville.[12][13]

In February 2008 Fuller was presented with the PGA Award by the Producers Guild of America in Hollywood. At the event he was praised for his creativity, entrepreneurship, and charity work by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Prince Charles who also thanked Fuller for his support of the Prince's charity The Prince's Trust.[14]

TV production and formats

Fuller has created several hit TV formats including S Club 7, a pop group and BBC/Fox Kids television show, which was broadcast in over 100 territories around the world.[15] S Club has been named as the inspiration for the wave of teen-oriented musical television shows that followed most notably Glee and High School Musical.[16] The S Club project produced several stars including Rachel Stevens, Jon Lee, Holly Willoughby, Ben Barnes, as well as Frankie Sandford and Rochelle Wiseman of The Saturdays.

In 2001, Fuller created the British television show Pop Idol.[17] The show broke TV records when it was broadcast over two series in the UK, as well as uncovering Will Young whose single Evergreen became the ‘biggest selling single of the century’ in the UK.[18] Fuller sold the show to the Fox network in the US, and American Idol quickly became a No.1 rated show. The show has made stars of its presenter Ryan Seacrest as well as judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, as well as many of its performers.[19] And later the show has featured many more high profiled judges including Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban.[20]

American Idol has since won many awards and has been credited with originating a new form of reality TV. It is claimed to be the most valuable TV format in the world with a value of over $8 billion made up of revenue from sponsors, merchandising, telephone, music sales, broadcast and advertising sources. Over 30 million viewers saw David Cook win the seventh season of American Idol in May 2008 and when Fuller re-launched the show in 2011 for its 10th season ratings climbed 20% for the finale event. 122.4 million votes were cast, a record for a reality TV show.[21] In 2005 Fuller, along with co-creator Nigel Lythgoe, launched So You Think You Can Dance on the Fox network in the USA. The show grew over four seasons to become a regular summer hit. In 2012 Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment created a new international format with Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and Jamie King named Q'Viva! The Chosen, and described as a celebration of Latin culture that screened in 21 territories reaching over 30 million Spanish speaking TV viewers.[22]

Impact in music culture

Simon Fuller has been certified as the most successful British music manager of all time by Billboard magazine,[4] having produced over 500 No.1 hit singles globally and over 240 No.1 albums; his reputation for supporting new music talent is well documented.[23] He has managed the career of Annie Lennox since the release of her multi platinum album Diva in 1991. He has managed hit songwriters and producers, most notably Cathy Dennis, who first met Fuller as the singer of D Mob in the 1980s. Under Fuller's guidance Cathy Dennis has become the UK's No. 1 female songwriter with a string of global hits for artists including Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Pink, Will Young and others.[24] In 2002 Fuller's company discovered 19-year-old Amy Winehouse, produced her first award winning album and signed her to Universal Music.

Fuller managed the Spice Girls through the peak of their success.[25][26] Under Fuller, the Spice Girls rose to chart topper status and went on to sell over 37.5 million records in less than three years.

In 2012 Simon Fuller announced a partnership with Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records and owner of Bob Marley catalogue.[27] In 2005, 2006 and 2007 the biggest selling music acts in North America (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Daughtry) were all managed by Simon Fuller.[28]

Expansion into fashion

Simon Fuller owns a significant stake in several British fashion businesses including Victoria Beckham Ltd and the Roland Mouret brand. In 2006, he launched 19RM with acclaimed designer Roland Mouret. In 2011, Mouret and Fuller opened their first retail venture, a six-floor headquarters in Carlos Place, London comprising retail, design and Atelier in one building and in 2009, Fuller brokered a deal for 19 Entertainment to purchase a majority share in Storm Model Management.

In 2008 Fuller launched the Victoria Beckham dress collection at New York Fashion Week, which has since won many plaudits including Brand of The Year at the 2012 and 2014 British Fashion Awards. In 2012 Fuller accompanied Victoria Beckham as she launched the business in China,.[29]

On 1 February 2012, XIX Entertainment launched a David Beckham bodywear range in London with H&M.[30] In 2014, Fuller and David Beckham announced a joint venture with Hong Kong-based Global Brands Group Holding Ltd (787) to develop David Beckham and other icon branded consumer products.[31]

Sports activity

Fuller first ventured into sports management in the mid-1990s, when he negotiated the historic first post Bosman transfer of England footballer Steve McManaman to Real Madrid.[32] In 2003 Fuller formed a joint venture partnership with David Beckham, and later masterminded Beckham's $250 million move to LA Galaxy. He remains Beckham's closest advisor.

In 2009, Fuller took on personal representation of tennis player Andy Murray,[33] guiding him to Grand Slam and Wimbledon wins and later helping the player to establish his own business. In March 2011, Simon Fuller was announced as the manager of British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton [34] and surprised many when he moved Hamilton from McLaren and signed him to a long term contract with the MercedesAMG team. Hamilton won the 2014 F1 World Championship and publicly thanked Fuller,[35] although Hamilton did not renew his deal with Fuller's XIX Entertainment company once it expired at the end of that year.[36] In 2013 it was announced that Fuller was managing 2012 Tour De France winner, Bradley Wiggins.

In 2014, Fuller and Beckham revealed their plan to buy an MLS football team in Miami [37] and later the same year Fuller was revealed as the mastermind behind Beckham's involvement in a new global whiskey launch with leading British drinks company Diageo.[38]

Charity work

Simon Fuller has supported many good causes throughout his working life, most notably through his TV format Idol Gives Back, which over five years raised over $185 million for charities including Malaria No More, Save The Children and others. In December 2010 Simon Fuller was honored by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: "Simon Fuller is an extraordinary leader" he said. "Idol Gives Back is a tremendous initiative in giving Americans a way to save lives around the world".[39]

In 2008, HRH The Prince of Wales thanked Fuller for his support of The Prince's Trust, stating; "He has been one of the most effective and generous ambassadors for my Trust, which I set up 32 years ago to help the most disadvantaged young people in the United Kingdom. There are many young people in the United Kingdom whose lives have been transformed and, in some cases, saved – literally – thanks to the contribution which Simon has made.".[14]

In 2009, Simon Fuller was a co-founder of Malaria No More UK donating resources and funds to allow the charity to set up and operate in London. Fuller remains a passionate ambassador for the cause and has shared his own experience of malaria with the charity.

Personal life

Fuller was born on 17 May 1960 in Cyprus.[40] He spent some of his childhood in a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus, where his father, a Royal Air Force pilot, had established a school, though later the family moved to Accra, Ghana where his father was the headmaster of the British Military School, Burma Camp. The family moved back to Hastings, East Sussex, where Simon's father became headmaster of the school he attended.[41] He has two brothers, Kim and Mark. He married his long-term girlfriend Natalie Swanston in May 2008, and they have three children.

He has a portfolio of real estate including properties in Europe, North America and South America. In 2014, Fuller was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Sussex.[42]

Awards and nominations


  1. 1 2 Simon Fuller to Bernie Ecclestone: Ten of the greatest British entrepreneurs. Daily Mail. Retrieved 30 May 2012
  2. The man with stars in his eyes The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2012
  3. The TIME 100: Simon Fuller, Time. Retrieved 3 May 2007
  4. 1 2 "Pop Idol creator Simon Fuller is 'most successful British manager'". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. 19 May 2008.
  5. Simon Fuller: Hollywood Walk of Fame Retrieved 15 June 2011
  6. "UK's Music Millionaires 2012 - Sunday Times Rich List". London: The Richest. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  7. "'American Idol' Creator Simon Fuller Gets Star On Walk Of Fame",; retrieved 23 May 2012
  8. Jamie Doward (27 July 2003). "Reign maker",, 27 July 2003; retrieved 23 May 2012.
  9. CKX chief's departure could set off bidding war for 'American Idol' parent Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 April 2012
  10. Sweney, Mark (3 March 2009) 19 Entertainment profits soar The Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2012
  11. Georg Szalai (2 May 2011). "'American Idol' Creator Simon Fuller's 2010 CKX Compensation: $14.2 Million". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  12. Matthew Garrahan (14 March 2011). "Fuller's XIX now valued at $100m". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  13. "XIX Entertainment Ltd profile". Companies in the UK. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  14. 1 2 "Prince Charles and Gordon Brown pay tribute to Pop Idol mastermind Simon Fuller". London, UK: Daily Mail. 4 February 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  15. "S Club reach for the top". BBC News. BBC. 18 June 2000. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  16. Catherine Applefeld Olson (18 May 2008). "New shows in the works from "Idol" creator". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  17. "Clash of the Simons: Fuller and Cowell are gearing up to go head-to-head in the biggest battle of egos TV has ever seen". Daily Mail. Retrieved 23 May 2012
  18. "Will Young's 'Evergreen' revealed as biggest selling single of 21st century". NME. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  19. Stephen M. Silverman (18 October 2002). "'American Idol' Judges Set to Return". People. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  20. Gil Kaufman (6 January 2011). "New 'American Idol' Judges Promise 'Different Kind Of Vibe'". Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  21. 'American Idol': Record 122 Million Votes Cast Following Final Performance Show The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 August 2011
  22. Simon Fuller, Jennifer Lopez And Marc Anthony Team With Jamie King For Trilingual Reality Series ‘Q’Viva! The Chosen’ Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 23 August 2011
  23. Goldsmith, Harvey; Membery, York (31 March 2012). "Simon Fuller to Bernie Ecclestone: Ten of the greatest British entrepreneurs". Daily Mail. London, UK.
  24. Singh, Anita (11 August 2008). "Forgotten pop star Cathy Dennis scores Transatlantic number one as songwriter". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK.
  25. Domenic Pride (12 June 1999). "19 Records' 21st Century Girls". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  26. Jim Armitae (18 March 2005). "Pop svengali's £100m windfall". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  27. Powers, Lindsay (13 June 2011). "'American Idol' Creator Simon Fuller, Chris Blackwell Launch Joint Venture". The Hollywood Reporter.
  28. Andreeva, Nellie. (13 June 2011) "'American Idol' Creator Simon Fuller Launches Joint Venture With Chris Blackwell",; retrieved on 22 May 2014.
  29. A very special edition: Simon Fuller managed Victoria Beckham stars as Range Rover’s new designer, (23 April 2012); retrieved 22 May 2014.
  30. David Beckham H&M Underwear Range & Naked Photoshoot ( UK). (4 April 2012); retrieved 22 May 2014.
  31. Simon Fuller to brand it like Beckham in Hong Kong tie-up,, 3 December 2014; accessed 31 July 2015.
  32. " 12M BARCA DITCH `GREEDY` MACCA Retrieved 6 February 2011
  33. Andy Murray banks on yoga and Simon Fuller ahead of Australian Open final,; retrieved 8 June 2012.
  34. Lewis Hamilton joins Simon Fuller management company,; retrieved 11 April 2012
  35. Lewis Hamilton wins Lewis Hamilton 2014 F1 World Championship,, 25 July 2014; accessed 31 July 2015.
  36. "Lewis Hamilton to leave management company XIX Entertainment". 2 November 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  37. David Beckham reveals purchase of MLS Miami franchise,, 5 February 2014; retrieved 22 May 2014.
  38. Resource Item,, 8 April 2014; retrieved 22 May 2014.
  39. United Nations Foundation – Joining Forces: Historic Alliance Builds Largest Network of American UN Supporters,, 18 November 2010; retrieved 22 May 2014.
  40. Geoffrey Wansell (18 April 2002). "This man wants to rule the world". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  41. Marre, Oliver "The man with stars in his eyes",, 14 January 2007.
  42. Simon Fuller awarded an honorary degree by the University of Sussex,; accessed 31 July 2015.
  46. Rose, Lacey (28 August 2007). "In Pictures: The Trendsetters". Forbes. Retrieved 2 May 2010.

External links

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