The fascinating stories of successful people who triumphed over debilitating career rejection.
And the insights those rejections provide.

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The fascinating stories of successful people who triumphed over debilitating
career rejection.
And the insights those rejections provide.

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Episodes

Rejecting Wham!

In the four short years Wham! was together, they sold 30 million records. Making them one of the best-selling duos of the ‘80s and launching the subsequent career of the late great George Michael. But before reaching the top of the pops, schoolmates and best friends Andrew Ridgeley and Georgios Panayiotou were laughed out of the room by dozens of record labels. Join us this week as we tell Wham!’s remarkable story. From being told they were ‘just another synthesizer band’ to really making it big.

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Rejecting Brian Grazer (Splash)

Splash launched the filmmaking careers of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. It put Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah on the map and was nominated for an Academy Award. But as a budding movie producer, Grazer spent seven years trying to sell the script, facing unrelenting rejection from every studio in LA. Join us this week as dive into Grazer’s fascinating story. From being told mermaid movies don’t sell movie tickets to earning $70 million at the box office.

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Rejecting Bat out of Hell

Bat out of Hell is one of the top albums of all time according to Rolling Stone Magazine. But before going certified platinum 14 times over, before shattering chart records and before selling over 40 million copies worldwide, it was rejected. Over 40 times. Join us this week as we tell Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s incredible story, from being told they were “too theatre” to crack the mainstream, to selling over 200,000 copies a year, even 40 years later.

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Rejecting Back To The Future

Back To The Future sits proudly in the Library of Congress National Film Registry as a work of enduring importance to American culture. But nearly 40 years ago when Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis first wrote the script, it was rejected. 40 times. Join us this week at the Twin Pines Mall as we tell the film’s incredible story. From being told by studios it was “too sweet” for the rebellious ‘80s youth to becoming a billion dollar franchise.

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Rejecting Katy Perry

Katy Perry was 15 years old when she was discovered, singing gospel songs in her parents traveling ministry. She quickly signed a record deal and thought she had it made. Little did Perry know, before becoming one of the highest-paid artists in the world, before tying Michael Jackson’s long-held records and before becoming the most-followed woman on Twitter, she would be rejected and dropped. By four different record labels.

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Rejecting Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry wears many hats – and wigs. He is a renowned writer, director, producer and actor. But before his massive studio complex, before his millions and before Madea, Perry was a struggling playwright living in his car. He was rejected by television networks and ignored by Hollywood studios. And yet, just this past week, Perry became the latest entertainer to join the exclusive Billionaires Club. Hope you’ll join us.

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Rejecting James Dyson

The Dyson vacuum is the number one best-selling vacuum cleaner in the United Kingdom. Making its inventor, James Dyson, a billionaire. But back when he first designed his revolutionary cyclone technology, Dyson was rejected by every single vacuum company and every single investor he approached. This week we tell James Dyson’s amazing story. From building 5127 prototypes in his backyard to leaving his competition in the dust.

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Rejecting Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing is one of the most iconic cult classic movies of all time. But back when screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein and producer Linda Gottlieb first pitched the script, it promptly received 43 rejection letters. Studios labelled it as “too small, too soft and too girly.” This week we break down the film’s remarkable journey. From a low-budget indie movie no one wanted, to raking in over $200 million at the box office.

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Rejecting Sara Blakely

Spanx has become the de facto brand name for an entire category. But in the ’90s, the shapewear company’s founder, Sara Blakely, was enduring relentless rejection as a door-to-door fax machine salesperson. When one day, she cut the feet off her pantyhose. This week we tell Blakely’s inspiring story, from being ridiculed for her idea to becoming one of the youngest female self-made billionaires.

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Rejecting RuPaul

RuPaul’s Drag Race has won 13 Emmys, including outstanding reality host four years running. But RuPaul didn’t sashay into Hollywood overnight. He weathered decades of rejection fighting to be America’s first drag superstar. Join us this week as we tell RuPaul’s fabulous story. From sleeping in Central Park to becoming Supermodel of the World.

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Rejecting Ed Sheeran

In 2020, Ed Sheeran was named UK Artist of the Decade. But 11 years earlier, he was dropped by his own management. And reeling from rejection after rejection by every major label in the country. This week, we break down Sheeran’s inspiring story. From being told he should just give out his music for free to setting the record for the highest-grossing world tour of all time.

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Rejecting Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is a force of nature. Sitting atop her piano are 11 Grammys and an Oscar. But a star isn’t born overnight. Mother Monster was forged through years of relentless taunting and repeated rejection from the music industry. This week, we tell Lady Gaga’s formidable story. From pounding her keyboard to pounding the pavement to pounding on doors.

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Rejecting JAY-Z

In 2019, JAY-Z became the world’s first hip-hop billionaire. But 25 years earlier, no one would give him a record deal, labels said there was no market for his “brand of music” and radio stations refused to play his songs. Join us this week as we take a stroll through the Empire City and unpack JAY-Z’s remarkable story. From Marcy Projects to Madison Square Garden.

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Rejecting Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman is the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time. But back when screenwriter J.F. Lawton first penned the script in 1987, it was neither romantic, nor a comedy. It was a dark drama. This week, we tell the story of the record-breaking film. Starting with Hollywood door slams and ending at the Academy Awards.

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Rejecting Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow is Phoebe Buffay. Need we say more? But before starring in Friends, Kudrow was told she wasn’t “gorgeous” enough for television. Then, she landed the role of a lifetime. But was fired on day 2 of rehearsals.

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Rejecting Stranger Things

Stranger Things is the #1 television show on Netflix. Its third season brought in 30 million viewers in just four days. But before the sci-fi series broke the internet, its creators – The Duffer Brothers – were rejected by every major film school. And every major film studio.

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Rejecting Stephen King

Stephen King is the king of horror. But in 1973, he was a high school English teacher living in a double-wide trailer, writing stories at lunch and fielding rejection letter after rejection letter from publishers. Welcome to the premiere episode of We Regret To Inform You: The Rejection Podcast.

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