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10 letters rejecting incredibly successful people

I want to print these letters out, frame them, and stick them all over my house. That way, I’ll be reminded that even the most successful people of our time faced some pretty serious rejection in their past. Take a look at these, for example:


There’s no date on this rejection letter to Madonna’s team. But it must have been before she signed with Sire Records in 1982, a year before she released her first, self-titled album (which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide).



Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen, Jr., and Adam Clayton were just teenagers when they formed U2 in 1976. (Though they were originally known as The Larry Mullen Band, then Feedback, then The Hype.) By the fall of 1979, they had released their first single in Dublin, though it was with no thanks to London-based RSO Records, who had rejected the band’s submission in May of the same year. The reason, as briefly explained in a letter to the man sometimes known as Paul Hewson, was that it was “not suitable for us at present.” Within a year, U2 had signed with Island Records and released their first international single, “11 O’Clock Tick Tock.” Hmmm… wonder if they would be suitable for RSO now?

Full story at Mental Floss.

More interesting celebrity tidbits.

Photo credit: Mental Floss

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  • 10 Letters?

  • John

    It’s in binary… 10 = 2

  • There’s a link to the full story guys. Mental floss thing.

  • it would be great to see the other 8 🙂