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On Broadway, Gary Barlow is known as the composer of the much buzzed-about Finding Neverland—and in his native U.K., he’s something of a national treasure. In the 1990s Barlow made his name as the frontman of Take That, the Brits’ equivalent of the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync. After splitting in 1996, the band successfully reunited a decade later to huge success. Internationally, Take That has had 56 number one singles, 37 number one albums, sold 45 million records…and Barlow has pretty much penned them all! Check out our video history of this teenage 30-something’s dream below. He’s friends with SimbaBarlow did the backing vocals for Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King in 1994. Broadway fans everywhere have thus, without question, heard him sing. Why’d he do it? Barlow says John inspired him to play the piano. He made us cryWhen Zayn Malik was two years old, Robbie Williams left Take That while they were promoting the song “Never Forget.” Barlow’s anthem still brings a tear to many millions of 30-something women’s eyes. The band went on as a four-piece, but split in 1996. He answered our prayersTake That’s first number-one hit in the U.K. was “Pray,” penned by Barlow. He received the first of his six prestigious Ivor Novello Awards for the hit in 1994. If hot men’s naked torsos aren’t your thing, don’t press play. He got kinky with forksBarlow aficionados are aware that way before Jamie Dornan strutted into his red room, there was Take That’s video of their cover of the Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love.” Released in 1996 when the band was a four-piece, some very freaky things happen with a fork while they are all tied up. Jell-O made him a starTake That weren’t originally as squeaky clean as they were eventually portrayed—this infamous 1991 video of one of their early songs, “Do What U Like,” had them covered in Jell-O and stripping. (Barlow is the blonde spikey-haired boy.) Madonna inspired himAfter Take That split, Barlow tried a solo career, but unlike Williams, who went on to be huge everywhere but America, Barlow didn’t really achieve big success anywhere on his own. (If you count selling five million records as a failure.) This surprised everybody as they thought Barlow was the next George Michael—here he is singing the Madonna song “Love Won’t Wait” in 1997. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 21, 2016 He’s pals with the QueenSpeaking of The X Factor, Barlow replaced Simon Cowell as a judge on the U.K. show in 2011. The following year, his status as British national treasure was secured when the Queen appointed him an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in her 2012 Birthday Honours for his charity work and general awesomeness. Oh and that same year Barlow composed the monarch’s official Diamond Jubilee single, “Sing” with a Broadway scribe you might have heard of…Andrew Lloyd Webber (who makes a cameo at 2:51)! Related Shows He climbed the Billboard chartsTake That were basically big everywhere but America, however they did almost properly break it with Barlow’s splendid tune “Back for Good,” which reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1995. He always remembered his rootsTake That made a triumphant return—with new material—in the mid-2000s without Williams. It was such a success that by 2010, Williams was back on board (for a bit, anyway). This performance of “The Flood” on The X Factor was the first time we saw them all reunite on stage and it brought tears to many 30-something women’s eyes. He got Broadway to believeIt’s no wonder that mega-producer Harvey Weinstein believed in Barlow’s talents so much that in 2013 he brought him in to pen Finding Neverland. Watch Matthew Morrison and the tuner’s cast sing “Believe” in rehearsal below! Finding Neverland
The most senior IO representative in the United States also highlighted Colombia as a regional pioneer in mastering the use of the Internet and social media to have one unanimous voice, specifically against transnational organized crime. “The Internet is a vast space,” he said, “and we ought to take some of it back from our adversaries.” The opportunity allowed military representatives from Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, El Salvador and the United States, all of whom are involved in building, strengthening and/or reinforcing IO capabilities in their countries’ forces, to openly discuss their specific situations, as well as their strengths and weaknesses to establish courses of action and collaboration opportunities to benefit each one individually as much as the entire region in the short, medium and long term. The Colombian delegation also took the opportunity to highlight the Colombian Army’s International Missions and Integral Action School, where IO doctrine is imparted along with those of Strategic Communications and Public Relations, among others, and offered that capability to their counterparts attending the SMEE. During three days of presentations, open and sincere discussions of each country’s situation, and sessions to pave the way ahead, representatives from 11 countries in the Americas came together at the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) for a Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) on Information Operations (IO). Austin Branch, Senior Director of IO at the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy was also present at the conference. He urged participants to take advantage of the “real opportunity at hand for collaboration and work in unison that the event provided, but more specifically, to draw from the experiences that each particular country has to offer. “Don’t just sit back and talk about it,” he recommended. “Figure out what needs to be done, prioritize, and do them.” SOUTHCOM co-hosted the second IO SMEE from April 16-18, following the positive outcome of the first one held last year in Miami between Colombia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama and the United States. But this year, in addition to having twice as many countries in attendance, U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) joined SOUTHCOM as co-host, bringing with them the expertise of Canadian and Mexican participants that share the same threats and interest of making the entire American continent a safer region for all. More than anything, the conference offered a venue for each attending country to learn the way other partner nations tackle and respond to common threats that affect them all in very similar ways, including organized crime and its ramifications; illegal trafficking of drugs, weapons and others; gangs; and drug trafficking. It offered unique lessons learned and experiences from each participant nation that, according to Honduran Army Colonel Francisco I. Alvarez Urbina, from the operations and training department, made the event “the best conference” he had attended in his 27 years of service. For his part, Colombian Army Colonel Wilson F. Torres Pardo, Deputy Chief of Integral Action, as their IO initiative is called, discussed the whole of government approach Colombia has taken in this domain, resorting very actively to Twitter, Facebook, web pages and blogs to prevent rival attacks with the help of citizen participation, as well as to establish a positive relationship with the civil society through various public health, education and family campaigns throughout the country. “Because of our unique experience,” said Col. Torres Pardo, “we’ve learned that our operations must adapt to the changes that our adversaries undergo.” Meanwhile, his colleague, Lt. Col. Willy J. Oseguera Rodas, director of operations and training at the Honduran Army’s Joint Force Headquarters, agreed with his Belizean counterpart, Lt. Col. Louis E. Sutherland, Commanding Officer of the Belize Defence Force Support & Services Battalion, in that “these events are always good to share ideas and see what other countries are doing and how they carry out their operations.” By Dialogo April 23, 2013 In spite of the different terminologies that each country’s military and public security force gives its information operations, and the internal organization of each, the objective is the same: to involve the civil society in their actions, gain its trust and willingness to participate jointly in countering illegal activities; and unify efforts nationally, as well as across the region to have one unanimous voice against the actors of these.