Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents purportedly unscripted real-life situations starring unknown individuals rather than professional actors. Reality television came to prominence in the late 1990s and early 2000s with the global successes of the series Survivor and Big Brother, all of which became global franchises. Reality television shows tend to be interspersed with "confessionals", short interview segments in which cast members reflect on or provide context for the events being depicted on-screen. Competition-based reality shows feature gradual elimination of participants, either by a panel of judges or by the viewership of the show. Documentaries, television news, sports television, talk shows, traditional game shows are not classified as reality television; some genres of television programming that predate the reality television boom are retroactively labeled reality television, including hidden camera shows, talent-search shows, documentary series about ordinary people, high-concept game shows, home improvement shows, court shows featuring real-life cases.
Reality television has faced significant criticism since its rise in popularity. Critics argue reality television shows do not reflect reality, in ways both implicit, deceptive; some have been accused of underdog to win. Other criticisms of reality television shows include that they are intended to humiliate or exploit participants. Television formats portraying ordinary people in unscripted situations are as old as the television medium itself. Producer-host Allen Funt's Candid Camera, in which unsuspecting people were confronted with funny, unusual situations and filmed with hidden cameras, first aired in 1948, is seen as a prototype of reality television programming. Precedents for television that portrayed people in unscripted situations began in the late 1940s. Queen for a Day was an early example of reality-based television; the 1946 television game show Carry sometimes featured contestants performing stunts. Debuting in 1948, Allen Funt's hidden camera show Candid Camera broadcast unsuspecting ordinary people reacting to pranks.
In 1948, talent search shows Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour and Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts featured amateur competitors and audience voting. In the 1950s, game shows Beat the Clock and Truth or Consequences involved contestants in wacky competitions and practical jokes. Confession was a crime/police show which aired from June 1958 to January 1959, with interviewer Jack Wyatt questioning criminals from assorted backgrounds; the radio series Nightwatch tape-recorded the daily activities of Culver City, California police officers. The series You Asked for It incorporated audience involvement by basing episodes around requests sent in by postcard from viewers. "You're Another", a science fiction short story by American writer Damon Knight, first appeared in the June 1955 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and contains the earliest fictional depiction of what is now called reality television. First broadcast in the United Kingdom in 1964, the Granada Television documentary Seven Up!, broadcast interviews with a dozen ordinary 7-year-olds from a broad cross-section of society and inquired about their reactions to everyday life.
Every seven years, a film documented the life of the same individuals during the intervening period, titled the Up Series, episodes include "7 Plus Seven", "21 Up", etc.. The program was structured as a series of interviews with no element of plot. However, it did have the then-new effect of turning ordinary people into celebrities; the first reality show in the modern sense may have been the series The American Sportsman, which ran from 1965 to 1986 on ABC in the United States. A typical episode featured one or more celebrities, sometimes their family members, being accompanied by a camera crew on an outdoor adventure, such as hunting, hiking, scuba diving, rock climbing, wildlife photography, horseback riding, race car driving, the like, with most of the resulting action and dialogue being unscripted, except for the narration. In the 1966 Direct Cinema film Chelsea Girls, Andy Warhol filmed various acquaintances with no direction given; the 12-part 1973 PBS series An American Family showed a nuclear family going through a divorce.
In 1974 a counterpart program, The Family, was made in the UK, following the working class Wilkins family of Reading. Other forerunners of modern reality television were the 1970s productions of Chuck Barris: The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show, all of which featured participants who were eager to sacrifice some of their privacy and dignity in a televised competition; the 1976-1980 BBC series The Big Time showed, in each of its 15 episodes, a different amateur in some field trying to succeed professionally in that field, with help from notable experts. The series is credited with starting the career of Sheena Easton, selected to appear in the episode showing an aspiring pop singer trying to enter the music business. In 1978, Living in the Past recreated life in an
Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million. One of Germany's 16 federal states, it is surrounded by Schleswig-Holstein to the north and Lower Saxony to the south; the city's metropolitan region is home to more than five million people. Hamburg lies on two of its tributaries, the River Alster and the River Bille; the official name reflects Hamburg's history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. Before the 1871 Unification of Germany, it was a sovereign city state, before 1919 formed a civic republic headed constitutionally by a class of hereditary grand burghers or Hanseaten. Beset by disasters such as the Great Fire of Hamburg, north Sea flood of 1962 and military conflicts including World War II bombing raids, the city has managed to recover and emerge wealthier after each catastrophe. Hamburg is Europe's third-largest port. Major regional broadcasting firm NDR, the printing and publishing firm Gruner + Jahr and the newspapers Der Spiegel and Die Zeit are based in the city.
Hamburg is the seat of Germany's oldest stock exchange and the world's oldest merchant bank, Berenberg Bank. Media, commercial and industrial firms with significant locations in the city include multinationals Airbus, Blohm + Voss, Aurubis and Unilever; the city hosts specialists in world economics and international law, including consular and diplomatic missions as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the EU-LAC Foundation, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, multipartite international political conferences and summits such as Europe and China and the G20. Both the former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Angela Merkel, German chancellor since 2005, come from Hamburg; the city is a major domestic tourist destination. It ranked 18th in the world for livability in 2016; the Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2015. Hamburg is a major European science and education hub, with several universities and institutions. Among its most notable cultural venues are the Laeiszhalle concert halls.
It paved the way for bands including The Beatles. Hamburg is known for several theatres and a variety of musical shows. St. Pauli's Reeperbahn is among the best-known European entertainment districts. Hamburg is at a sheltered natural harbour on the southern fanning-out of the Jutland Peninsula, between Continental Europe to the south and Scandinavia to the north, with the North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the northeast, it is on the River Elbe at its confluence with the Bille. The city centre is around the Binnenalster and Außenalster, both formed by damming the River Alster to create lakes; the islands of Neuwerk, Scharhörn, Nigehörn, 100 kilometres away in the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park, are part of the city of Hamburg. The neighborhoods of Neuenfelde, Cranz and Finkenwerder are part of the Altes Land region, the largest contiguous fruit-producing region in Central Europe. Neugraben-Fischbek has Hamburg's highest elevation, the Hasselbrack at 116.2 metres AMSL. Hamburg borders the states of Lower Saxony.
Hamburg has an oceanic climate, influenced by its proximity to the coast and marine air masses that originate over the Atlantic Ocean. The location north of Germany provides extremes greater than marine climates, but in the category due to the mastery of the western standards. Nearby wetlands enjoy a maritime temperate climate; the amount of snowfall has differed a lot during the past decades: while in the late 1970s and early 1980s, at times heavy snowfall occurred, the winters of recent years have been less cold, with snowfall only on a few days per year. The warmest months are June and August, with high temperatures of 20.1 to 22.5 °C. The coldest are December and February, with low temperatures of −0.3 to 1.0 °C. Claudius Ptolemy reported the first name for the vicinity as Treva; the name Hamburg comes from the first permanent building on the site, a castle which the Emperor Charlemagne ordered constructed in AD 808. It rose on rocky terrain in a marsh between the River Alster and the River Elbe as a defence against Slavic incursion, acquired the name Hammaburg, burg meaning castle or fort.
The origin of the Hamma term remains uncertain. In 834, Hamburg was designated as the seat of a bishopric; the first bishop, became known as the Apostle of the North. Two years Hamburg was united with Bremen as the Bishopric of Hamburg-Bremen. Hamburg occupied several times. In 845, 600 Viking ships sailed up the River Elbe and destroyed Hamburg, at that time a town of around 500 inhabitants. In 1030, King Mieszko II Lambert of Poland burned down the city. Valdemar II of Denmark raided and occupied Hamburg in 1201 and in 1214; the Black Death killed at least 60% of the population in 1350. Hamburg experienced several great fires in the medieval period. In 1189, by imperial charter, Frederick I "Barbarossa" granted Hamburg the status of a Free Imperial City and tax-free access up the Lower Elbe into the North Sea. In 1265, an forged letter was presented to or by the Rath of Hamburg; this charter, along with Hamburg's proximity to the main trade routes of the North Sea and Baltic Sea made it a
A bus stop is a designated place where buses stop for passengers to board or alight from a bus. The construction of bus stops tends to reflect the level of usage, where stops at busy locations may have shelters and electronic passenger information systems. Bus stops are, in some locations, clustered together into transport hubs allowing interchange between routes from nearby stops and with other public transport modes to maximise convenience. For operational purposes, there are three main kinds of stops: Scheduled stops, at which the bus should stop irrespective of demand. Certain stops may be restricted to "discharge/set-down only" or "pick-up only"; some stops may be designated as "timing points", if the vehicle is ahead of schedule it will wait there to ensure correct synchronization with the timetable. In dense urban areas where bus volumes are high, skip-stops are sometimes used to increase efficiency and reduce delays at bus stops. Fare stages may be defined by the location of certain stops in distance or zone-based fare collection systems.
Sunday stops used only on Sundays. From the 17th to the 19th century, horse drawn stage coaches ran regular services between many European towns and stopping at designated Coaching inns where the horses could be changed and passengers board or alight, in effect constituting the earliest form of bus stop; the Angel Inn, the first stop on the route from London to York, was a noted example of such an inn. A seat in a Stage coach had to be booked in advance. John Greenwood opened the first bus line in Britain in Manchester in 1824, running a fixed route and allowing passengers to board on request along the way without a reservation. Landmarks such as Public houses, rail stations and road junctions became customary stopping points. Regular Horse drawn buses started in Paris in 1828 and George Shillibeer started his London horse Omnibus service in 1829. Running between stops at Paddington and the Bank of England to a designated route and timetable. By the mid 19th Century guides were available to London bus routes including maps with routes and the main stops.
In the UK National National Public Transport Access Node database of all UK stops, developed by the Department of Transport in 2001, stops are classified as marked or custom and usage. Use of a marked stop may be changed- the bus will always stop, or by request only. Bus stop infrastructure ranges from a simple pole and sign, to a rudimentary shelter, to sophisticated structures; the usual minimum is a pole mounted flag with suitable name/symbol. Bus stop shelters may have a full or partial roof, supported by a two, three or four sided construction. Modern stops are mere steel and glass/perspex constructions, although in other places, such as rural Britain, stops may be wooden brick or concrete built; the construction may include small inbuilt seats. The construction may feature advertising, from simple posters, to complex illuminated, changeable or animated displays; some installations have included interactive advertising. Design and construction may be uniform to reflect a large corporate or local authority provider, or installations may be more personal or distinctive where a small local authority such as a parish council is responsible for the stop.
The stop may include separate street furniture such as lighting and a trash receptacle. Individual bus stops may be placed on the sidewalk next to the roadway, although they can be placed to facilitate use of a busway. More complex installations can include construction of a bus turnout or a bus bulb, for traffic management reasons, although use of a bus lane can make these unnecessary. Several bus stops may be grouped together to facilitate easy transfer between routes; these may be arranged in a simple row along the street, or in parallel or diagonal rows of multiple stops. Groups of bus stops may be integral to transportation hubs. With extra facilities such as a waiting room or ticket office, outside groupings of bus stops can be classed as a rudimentary bus station. Convention is for the bus to draw level with the'flag', although in areas of mixed front and rear entrance buses, such as London, a head stop, more a tail stop, indicates to the driver whether they should stop the bus with either the rear platform or the drivers cab level with the flag.
In certain areas, the area of road next the bus stop may be specially marked, protected in law. Car drivers can be unaware of the legal implications of stopping or parking in a bus-stop. In bus rapid transit systems, bus stops may be more elaborate than street bus stops, can be termed'stations' to reflect this difference; these may have enclosed areas to allow off-bus fare collection for rapid boarding, be spaced further apart like tram stops. Bus stops on a bus rapid transit line may have a more complex construction allowing level boarding platforms, doors separating the enclosure from the bus until ready to board. Most bus stops are identified with a metal sign attached to a light standard; some stops are plastic strips strapped on to poles and others involve a sign attached to a bus shelter. The signs are identified with a picture of a bus and/or with the words "bus stop"; the bus stop "flag" will sometimes contain the route numbers of all the buse
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated. Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways; the artistic nature of music means that these classifications are subjective and controversial, some genres may overlap. There are varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between form, he lists madrigal, canzona and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre – both are violin concertos – but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."
Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language." Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can differentiate between genres. A music genre or subgenre may be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects". Among the criteria used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art and traditional musics. Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal and depth.
Arousal reflects the energy level of the music. These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres. Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of'folk','art' and'popular' musics", he explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria. The term art music refers to classical traditions, including both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music exists in many parts of the world, it emphasizes formal styles that invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered a written musical tradition, preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music are. Most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period.
The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is defined by the notated version rather than by a particular performance, is associated with the composer rather than the performer. This is so in the case of western classical music. Art music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is a form of popular music. Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can be considered to have an identity of its own; the term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects: Popular music, unlike art music, is conceived for mass distribution to large and socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners and distributed in non-written form, only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of'free' enterprise... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do; the distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction, not always precise. Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s; the polka is a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particular
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
Simon Phillip Cowell is an English television music and talent competition judge, businessman, A&R executive, talent manager, television producer. He has judged on the British TV talent competition series Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, the American TV talent competition shows American Idol, The X Factor and America's Got Talent. Cowell is the principal and chief executive of the British entertainment company Syco. Cowell makes blunt and controversial comments as a television show judge, including insults and wisecracks about contestants and their singing abilities, he combines activities in music industries. Cowell 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 named Cowell one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2008, The Daily Telegraph ranked him sixth in their list of the "100 most powerful people in British culture".
Simon Phillip Cowell was born on 7 October 1959 in Lambeth and raised in Elstree, Hertfordshire. His mother, Julie Brett, was a ballet dancer and socialite, his father, Eric Selig Phillip Cowell, was an estate agent, property developer, music industry executive. Cowell's paternal grandmother was a Polish immigrant, his father was from a Jewish family, though he did not discuss his background with his children, his mother was from a Christian background. He has Nicholas Cowell. Cowell attended Radlett Preparatory School and the independent Dover College, as did his brother, but left after taking GCE O levels, he passed English Language and Literature, attended Windsor Technical College, where he gained another GCE in Sociology. Cowell took a few menial jobs—including, according to his brother Tony, working as a runner on Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror film The Shining—but did not get along well with colleagues and bosses, until his father, an executive at EMI Music Publishing, managed to get him a job in the mail room.
However, after failing to get a promotion, he left to try out other jobs before returning to EMI. In the early 1980s, he left EMI to form E&S Music with his former boss at EMI, but quit in 1983, he formed Fanfare Records with Iain Burton selling exercise videos, music from acts such as the Italian orchestra Rondò Veneziano. He had his first hit song in 1986 with "So Macho" by Sinitta; some of Cowell's early success came through Stock Aitken Waterman, who produced a number of hits in the 1980s. However, in 1989, the company went under and he nearly became bankrupt, he found a job with BMG as an A&R consultant, set up S Records under BMG. He restarted his career in the music business by creating novelty records with acts such as the puppets Zig and Zag, Power Rangers, World Wrestling Federation. In 1995, through his persistence, he persuaded two actors, Robson Green and Jerome Flynn from the UK television drama series Soldier Soldier, to sign with him and record the song "Unchained Melody", which they had performed on the show.
The recording by the duo, now named Robson & Jerome reached number 1 in the UK, staying at the top of the chart for seven weeks. It became the best selling single of 1995, their self-titled album released in the year became the best-selling album of 1995, they released a further album and 2 more singles before disbanding, sold 7 million albums and 5 million singles in total. According to Cowell, they made him his first million. Acts he signed included Five and Teletubbies. Westlife are an Irish boy band that formed in Dublin in July 1998, they have sold over 50 million records worldwide, a total that includes studio albums, video releases, compilation albums. The group have had 14 number-one singles in the United Kingdom, they have had a total of 26 UK top ten singles over their fourteen-year career. In 2001, Cowell was given the role of judge on the first series of Pop Idol, a show that he and the show creator Simon Fuller pitched to ITV Controller of Entertainment Claudia Rosencrantz. Cowell's S Records signed the top two finishers of the first season of Pop Idol, Will Young and Gareth Gates, both of whom went on to have No 1 UK hits, which were the top 2 best-selling singles of 2002 and the decade of 2000s.
He became a judge on the first season of American Idol in 2002. With his notoriously critical reputation, Cowell has been likened to TV personalities such as Judith Sheindlin, Anne Robinson of her show. Cowell's prominence grew, fed by his signature phrase, "I don't mean to be rude, but..." followed by an unsparingly blunt appraisal of the contestant's talents, personality, or physical appearance. A lot of these one-liners were the product of coaching that Cowell received from noted publicist Max Clifford. Cowell appeared on the one-off World Idol programme in 2003, where it became clear that each country's version of the Idol had attempted to come up with its own "Simon Cowell" type personality. In 2003, Cowell placed No 33 on Channel 4's list of the all-time 100 Worst Britons. Cowell formed a new company Syco, divided into three units: Syco Music, Syco TV and Syco Film. Cowell returned to music with his latest brainchild signed to Syco, the internationally successful operatic pop group Il Divo, consisting of three opera singers and one pop singer of four different nationalities.
Inspired by the success of Il Divo, Simon created a child version
Robert Peter Williams is an English singer-songwriter and entertainer. He found fame as a member of the pop group Take That from 1989 to 1995, but achieved greater commercial success with his solo career, beginning in 1997. Williams has released 7 UK number 1 singles and all but one of his 11 studio albums have reached number one in the UK, he is the best-selling British solo artist in the United Kingdom and the best selling non-Latino artist in Latin America. Six of his albums are among the top 100 biggest-selling albums in the United Kingdom–four albums in the top 60–and in 2006 he entered the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 1.6 million tickets of his Close Encounters Tour in a single day. Williams has received a record eighteen Brit Awards—winning Best British Male four times, two awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music and the 2017 Brits Icon for his "lasting impact on British culture", twelve German ECHO Awards, three MTV European Music Awards. In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame after being voted the "Greatest Artist of the 1990s".
According to the British Phonographic Industry, Williams has been certified for 19.8 million albums and 7 million singles in the UK as a solo artist. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold 75 million records worldwide. Williams topped the 2000–2010 UK airplay chart, racking up 50% more plays than the Sugababes at number 2. In 2014, he was awarded the freedom of his home town of Stoke-on-Trent, as well as having a tourist trail created and streets named in his honour. After a fifteen year hiatus from the group, he was re-united with Take That on 15 July 2010, co-writing and performing lead vocals on their album Progress, which became the second fastest-selling album in UK chart history and the fastest-selling record of the century at the time; the subsequent stadium tour, which featured seven songs from Williams's solo career, became the biggest-selling concert in UK history, selling 1.34 million tickets in less than 24 hours. In late 2011, Take That's frontman Gary Barlow confirmed that Williams had left the band for a second time to focus on his solo career, although the departure was amicable and that Williams was welcome to rejoin Take That in the future.
He has since performed with Take That on three separate television appearances, has collaborated with Gary Barlow on a number of projects - including the West End musical The Band, Williams's 2012 solo-single "Candy", which reached #1 in the UK Charts. Following the completion of The Heavy Entertainment Show Stadium Tour in late 2018, he has temporarily retired from world touring to ensure he is present for his three children with whom he resides in Los Angeles. Williams was born on 13 February 1974 in Stoke-on-Trent, England, his parents and Peter Williams, ran a pub called the Red Lion in Burslem, before his father became the licencee at the Port Vale FC Social Club. His maternal grandfather was hailed from Kilkenny. Williams attended St Margaret Ward Catholic School in Tunstall, before attending dance school UKDDF in Tunstall, he participated in several school plays, his biggest role was that of the Artful Dodger in a production of Oliver!, the musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist.
In 1990, the sixteen-year-old Williams was the youngest member. According to the documentary Take That: For the Record, his mother read an advertisement seeking members for a new boy band and suggested that he try out for the group, he met fellow member Mark Owen on the day of his audition/interview with Nigel Martin-Smith. Although the majority of the group's material was written and performed by Gary Barlow, Williams performed lead vocals on their first Top Ten hit "Could It Be Magic", "I Found Heaven", "Everything Changes". However, he had conflicts with Martin-Smith over the restrictive rules for Take That members, he began drinking more alcohol and dabbling in cocaine. In November 1994, Williams's drug abuse had escalated. According to the documentary For the Record, he was unhappy with his musical ideas not being taken by lead singer Barlow and Martin-Smith. Barlow explained in interviews. Noting Williams' belligerent behaviour and poor attendance at rehearsals, worried that he might drop out during the group's upcoming tour and Barlow took their concerns to Martin-Smith.
During one of the last rehearsals before the tour commenced, the three confronted Williams about his attitude and stated they wanted to do the tour without him. He agreed to quit and left the group in July 1995. Despite the departure of Williams, Take That completed their Nobody Else Tour as a four-piece, they disbanded on 13 February 1996, Williams's 22nd birthday. Shortly afterwards, Williams was photographed by the press partying with the members of Oasis at Glastonbury Festival. Following his departure, he became the subject of talk shows and newspapers as he acknowledged his plans to become a solo singer, he was spotted partying with George Michael in France. However, a clause in his Take That contract prohibited him from releasing any material until after the group was dissolved, he was sued by Martin-Smith and forced to pay $200,000 in commission. After various legal battles over his r