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Sean Smith - Author

About the Author

Sean Smith is the UK's leading celebrity biographer and the author of the number one bestseller Cheryl, the definitive biography of Cheryl Cole, as well as bestselling books about Robbie Williams, Tulisa Contostavlos and Kate Middleton. His books about the most famous people of our times have been translated throughout the world. His subjects include Kylie Minogue, Alesha Dixon, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Aniston and J. K. Rowling. The film Magic Beyond Words: The J. K. Rowling Story was based on his biography of the Harry Potter author. Described by the Independent as a 'fearless chronicler', he specializes in meticulous research, going 'on the road' to find the real person behind the star image.

 

Author  photo © Rapture Photographics

Featured books by Sean Smith

Gary The Definitive Biography of Gary Barlow

Gary The Definitive Biography of Gary Barlow

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/03/2014

Top celebrity biographer Sean Smith tells the story of national treasure Gary Barlow, one of the UK's greatest songwriters and musicians. Throughout a stellar career, nobody has been more misunderstood than Gary Barlow. When he first found fame, he was perceived as too arrogant. Then, after a spectacular slump and amazing recovery, he adopted a modesty that underrates his lifetime achievements. In this book Sean Smith redresses the balance by revealing the real man, the romances that shaped his life and the passion for music that drives him. A singer and virtuoso keyboard player who performed in working men's clubs from the age of thirteen, Gary Barlow would go on to achieve phenomenal success as the musical force behind Take That, the most popular boy band of all time. Now recognized as one of the greatest songwriters and musicians the UK has ever produced, Gary is among the best-known faces on television, returning as head judge on the X Factor in 2013. Featuring original interviews with many people who have never spoken before, Gary is a celebration of a complex and unique talent.

Gary The Definitive Biography of Gary Barlow

Gary The Definitive Biography of Gary Barlow

Author: Sean Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/09/2013

Top celebrity biographer Sean Smith tells the story of national treasure Gary Barlow, one of the UK's greatest songwriters and musicians. Throughout a stellar career, nobody has been more misunderstood than Gary Barlow. When he first found fame, he was perceived as too arrogant. Then, after a spectacular slump and amazing recovery, he adopted a modesty that underrates his lifetime achievements. Now Gary redresses the balance by revealing the real man, the romances that shaped his life and the passion for music that drives him. A singer and virtuoso keyboard player who performed in working men's clubs from the age of thirteen, the young Gary Barlow had written more than a hundred songs while still at school. He would go on to achieve phenomenal success as the musical force behind Take That, the most popular boy band of all time. But an eagerly anticipated solo career flopped and Gary became depressed and overweight, while the triumphs of Robbie Williams were a constant reminder of his failure. In 2006 Take That returned bigger than ever and their huge success was followed by an emotional reunion between Gary and Robbie, that was cemented when they put aside past hurts to write and perform new songs together. Now recognized as one of the greatest songwriters and musicians the UK has ever produced, Gary is among the best-known faces on television, returning as head judge on the X Factor in 2013. Featuring original interviews with many people who have never spoken before, Gary is a celebration of a complex and unique talent.

Other books by Sean Smith

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

Author: Sean Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/11/2018

Ed Sheeran is a true inspiration. His moving and uplifting songs forge a lasting connection with the millions of people around the world who love him and his music. He was the thirteen-year-old guitarist in a school rock band when he decided to become a singer-songwriter, even though he could barely hold a tune and had never written a song. Within a year, he had recorded an album in his bedroom. Bestselling biographer Sean Smith traces the astonishing journey of the shy little boy with a stammer who, avoiding flashy showmanship, grew up to be a global phenomenon. Through compelling new research and interviews, he tells the story of Ed's remarkable mum and dad who gave their son the courage to pursue his dream, the friends and mentors who encouraged him and the lovers who inspired his most famous songs. Smith describes the setbacks Ed faced before his fortunes were transformed by Elton John's management company, a record deal and a song that changed everything - with a little help from Taylor Swift. Ed found it difficult to cope with the world at his feet, but a new relationship with a girl from his home town has brought him happiness and a fresh purpose in life. Now he is the most successful solo star on the planet, earning GBP83 million last year. Yet in the middle of his record-breaking 2018 UK tour, he played for just 400 people at a charity night to raise money for the homeless. As this captivating book reveals, there's no one quite like Ed.

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/11/2018

Ed Sheeran is a true inspiration. His moving and uplifting songs forge a lasting connection with the millions of people around the world who love him and his music. He was the thirteen-year-old guitarist in a school rock band when he decided to become a singer-songwriter, even though he could barely hold a tune and had never written a song. Within a year, he had recorded an album in his bedroom. Bestselling biographer Sean Smith traces the astonishing journey of the shy little boy with a stammer who, avoiding flashy showmanship, grew up to be a global phenomenon. Through compelling new research and interviews, he tells the story of Ed's remarkable mum and dad who gave their son the courage to pursue his dream, the friends and mentors who encouraged him and the lovers who inspired his most famous songs. Smith describes the setbacks Ed faced before his fortunes were transformed by Elton John's management company, a record deal and a song that changed everything - with a little help from Taylor Swift. Ed found it difficult to cope with the world at his feet, but a new relationship with a girl from his home town has brought him happiness and a fresh purpose in life. Now he is the most successful solo star on the planet, earning GBP83 million last year. Yet in the middle of his record-breaking 2018 UK tour, he played for just 400 people at a charity night to raise money for the homeless. As this captivating book reveals, there's no one quite like Ed.

George A Memory of George Michael

George A Memory of George Michael

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/05/2018

George is the story of two extraordinary lives - the private man and the public legend. Georgios Panayiotou was just eighteen when he decided to adopt the stage name of George Michael. Sometimes his two worlds would collide with shattering consequences. Bestselling biographer Sean Smith has gone back to the neighbourhoods of North London to trace the astonishing journey of a sensitive but determined boy who grew up to be one of the biggest British pop stars of all time. Along the way, he talks to those close to George, revealing the real man - funny, articulate, intelligent and generous spirited - who hid behind the powerful image he created. He reveals the complex relationship with his high-achieving Greek-Cypriot father; the unconditional love of his mother; his teenage relationships with girls; and his first tragic love affair with another man. George's career began falteringly with a schoolboy band, exploded with Wham! before he became a solo phenomenon. But at the height of his fame, the world seemed to turn against him. Smith describes his despair at losing the two people who mattered most, how he sought consolation in drugs, his notorious `coming out' and how he ended up in jail. His health failed him and he died heartbreakingly alone on Christmas Day, 2016. Affectionate yet honest and moving, George is both a celebration of George Michael's music and a lasting tribute to a decent and much-loved man.

Adele

Adele

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/03/2017

Adele touches the hearts of millions of people who love her for her music and share the real and honest emotion she brings to each and every song. In a cynical age, she is a phenomenon. In Adele, bestselling biographer Sean Smith talks to those close to her as he follows her astonishing journey to fame that began on the gritty streets of Tottenham. Through compelling new research and interviews, he reveals that there is far more to Adele than the superstar we all think we know. He uncovers the story of her complex family relationships; the ill-starred love affair between her mother and father; her devastation at the untimely death of her grandfather; and her seemingly unpromising future in a gang-ravaged area of South London. She found salvation at the BRIT School before a series of unhappy love affairs provided the inspiration for her record-breaking albums. He describes how she conquered America and how it all could have been ended by a dramatic vocal injury. Instead, she has made an amazing comeback and found personal happiness in a new relationship and becoming a mum. Intimate and revealing, Adele is the uplifting story of the woman with the most glorious voice in the world.

The Internet of Risky Things

The Internet of Risky Things

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2017

By 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) will consist of millions of computational devices intimately connected to real-world aspects of human life. In this insightful book, Professor Sean Smith, who worked in information security long before the web appeared, explains that if we build the IoT the way we built the current internet and other information technology initiatives, we're headed for trouble. With a focus on concrete solutions, The Internet of Risky Things explains how we can avoid simple flaws that have plagued several dramatic IT advances in recent decades. Developers, engineers, industrial designers, makers, and researchers will explore design patterns of insecurities and learn what's required to route around or fix them in the nascent IoT. Examine bugs that plague large-scale systems, including integer overflow, race conditions, and memory corruption Look at successful and disastrous examples of previous quantum leaps in health IT, the smart grid, and autonomous vehicles Explore patterns in coding, authentication, and cryptography that led to insecurity Learn how blunders that led to spectacular IT disasters could have been avoided

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/04/2016

Bestselling biographer Sean Smith takes on the world's number one reality star, Kim Kardashian West. This is the ultimate insight into the reality behind the woman who has defined fame in our modern culture - her childhood, her family, her turbulent love life and the multi-millionaire lifestyle. Kim Kardashian West is a thoroughly modern woman. She enjoyed a privileged upbringing in a Beverley Hills mansion and, ironically, her childhood ambition was to appear in the long-running US reality series Real World. Instead she became the star of Keeping Up With the Kardashians while her own life story read like an X rated version of Dynasty...murder, elopement, domestic violence, sex tape, quickie divorce, churchgoing and impossibly glamorous designer dresses. Now married to one of the biggest stars on the planet, Kanye West, she has begun her own dynasty with the birth of daughter, North, and her son, Saint. In a world that follows her every move, Sean Smith uncovers what it took to get her to the top and how she intends to stay there. From her Armenian heritage and devotion to her family to the fabulous fashions and a body to die for, this is the truth behind the undisputed Queen of celebrity - the real story.

Kate

Kate

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2015

Kate, as the whole world knows her, is living the dream of every little girl by winning the heart of a prince and becoming a Princess. But what is the reality behind our favourite fairy tale? In this compelling biography, bestselling author Sean Smith retraces the steps of Kate's journey from a rural childhood in Berkshire to her unhappy time as a victim of school bullies and to her transformation from a plain, gangly girl into a royal beauty. He reveals the true story of how she and William fell in love and what actually happened when their relationship hit the rocks. He also examines her emergence as a fashion icon and her relationship with her sister, Pippa Middleton. Bringing the story right up to date he reveals the ups and downs of her first royal year including her American triumph, Christmas at Sandringham and her future as a Queen in waiting. This is the most revealing and unmissable account of Kate's life to date.

Trusted Computing Platforms Design and Applications

Trusted Computing Platforms Design and Applications

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/09/2014

From early prototypes and proposed applications, this book surveys the longer history of amplifying small amounts of hardware security into broader system security Including real case study experience with security architecture and applications on multiple types of platforms. Examines the theory, design, implementation of the IBM 4758 secure coprocessor platform and discusses real case study applications that exploit the unique capabilities of this platform. Examines more recent cutting-edge experimental work in this area. Written for security architects, application designers, and the general computer scientist interested in the evolution and use of this emerging technology.

Britney The Biography

Britney The Biography

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/06/2013

Having amassed a fortune of over $100 million and record sales of 40 million, at the age of twenty-two Britney Spears is the world's biggest female star. This is the first biography to chronicle how the little girl with a crucifix in each ear, described by her teacher at Disney as 'the sweetest, most wholesome, most innocent person that you'd ever want to meet' has become the ultimate in tabloid fodder. Britney will follow her roller coaster life from her time on the Mickey Mouse Club where she first met Justin Timberlake to the moment she sashayed down the hallway dressed in school uniform and shot to fame becoming the all-American pop princess. Somehow it all fell apart - scarred by her break up with Timberlake, roundly booed at the London premiere of her first film, the downward spiral culminated with her infamous 55-hour Las Vegas marriage. The press went crazy over second marriage to dancer Kevin Federline, yet her fans remained loyal and she went on to win MTV Europe female of the year 2004 and the 2005 Grammy for best dance record. Speculating on what an uncertain future holds for Mrs Federline-Spears, Britney will be a gossipy and revealing biography of one of the most fascinating figures in pop.

Tulisa

Tulisa

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/09/2012

Tulisa Contostavlos is the most remarkable new star in the country today. She was an eleven-year-old schoolgirl when her Uncle Byron offered her GBP20 to be the singer in a new band with son Dappy and his friend Fazer. She held out for GBP50 and started on a rollercoaster ride to fame that led to her becoming an 'overnight' sensation on The X Factor. Tulisa is the first biography of a girl determined to leave behind a life in which underage sex, smoking weed, drinking cider and bullying were the norm. Her love of music and an unswerving desire to make money, buy a house of her own and drive a sports car provided her with the incentive to escape. The UK's leading celebrity biographer, Sean Smith, has discovered that behind the tough exterior and dazzling smile is a funny, loyal and sensitive young woman. He has travelled to the leafy streets of fashionable Belsize Park in North West London to uncover the truth about her upbringing, her relationship with her musician father, who left home when she was nine, and the mother who abandoned a singing career because of ongoing mental health problems, and whom Tulisa says she loves 'with all my heart.' He tells the story of N-Dubz and their mentor 'Uncle B', who tragically died on the threshold of their success. They rose to become one of the most popular bands in the UK without ever capturing a mainstream audience, but their American adventure ended in disappointment. Tulisa describes her failed love affairs, her mercurial relationship with controversial cousin Dappy, her bond with sometime boyfriend Fazer and a cast of characters including Chipmunk, Tinchy Stryder and Mr Hudson, who make up the urban music scene she embraced. The book relives her X Factor triumph as mentor to the winners Little Mix, her feud with fellow judge Kelly Rowland, her fashion triumphs and disasters and her brave response to the online release of a sex tape. Tulisa is the gripping and inspirational story of how a lonely and bullied young girl transformed herself into 'The Female Boss' - a role model for a generation.

Kate

Kate

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/03/2012

Kate, as the whole world knows her, is living the dream of every little girl by winning the heart of a prince and becoming a Princess. But what is the reality behind our favourite fairy tale? In this compelling biography, bestselling author Sean Smith retraces the steps of Kate's journey from a rural childhood in Berkshire to her unhappy time as a victim of school bullies and to her transformation from a plain, gangly girl into a royal beauty. He reveals the true story of how she and William fell in love and what actually happened when their relationship hit the rocks. He also examines her emergence as a fashion icon and her relationship with her sister, Pippa Middleton. Bringing the story right up to date he reveals the ups and downs of her first royal year including her American triumph, Christmas at Sandringham and her future as a Queen in waiting. This is the most revealing and unmissable account of Kate's life to date.

Fat Paddler

Fat Paddler

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2011

Robbie

Robbie

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/05/2011

This new, updated paperback edition of the first full length major biography of one of pop's biggest stars addresses the questions millions of fans have always wanted to ask. The answers will surprise and delight as ROBBIE: THE BIOGRAPHY chronicles the triumphs and disasters of an unlikely lad from Stoke on Trent on the rocky path to his unrivalled position as the nation's number one entertainer. After a mixed response to his last two albums and a break from live performances, Robbie returned with his 2009 comeback album 'Reality Killed the Video Star' before he later announced a reunion with Take That which became the pop music story of the year. Despite his celebrity profile, the real Robert Peter Williams has remained an enigma. Using exhaustive research and exclusive interviews, author Sean Smith examines the many stages in Robbie's life and career and reveals how he became the superstar he is today. ROBBIE: THE BIOGRAPHY, fully illustrated, is the must have music book of the year.

Cheryl

Cheryl

Author: Sean Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2010

Cherylis the definitive biography of the nation's favourite star. From her Newcastle childhood to her stellar success with Girls Aloud, as a number one solo artist and on TV with The X Factor, Sean Smith tells the true, roller-coaster story of how a cheeky and feisty girl from a grim, working class area became the iconic figure for modern women in Britain today. Cheryl's path to fame and fortune has often been difficult, facing the problems drugs and unemployment have brought to those she loves. Now, her turbulent marriage to footballer Ashley Cole is sadly under the spotlight, but, with insight and understanding, Sean Smith reveals the real woman behind the beautiful public face. 'Sean Smith gives a remarkable account of Cheryl's struggle to the top...A first-rate biography' Sunday Express Sean Smith is the UK's leading celebrity biographer whose best-selling books have been translated throughout the world.

The Craft of System Security

The Craft of System Security

Author: Sean Smith, John Marchesini Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/11/2007

I believe The Craft of System Security is one of the best software security books on the market today. It has not only breadth, but depth, covering topics ranging from cryptography, networking, and operating systems--to the Web, computer-human interaction, and how to improve the security of software systems by improving hardware. Bottom line, this book should be required reading for all who plan to call themselves security practitioners, and an invaluable part of every university's computer science curriculum. --Edward Bonver, CISSP, Senior Software QA Engineer, Product Security, Symantec Corporation Here's to a fun, exciting read: a unique book chock-full of practical examples of the uses and the misuses of computer security. I expect that it will motivate a good number of college students to want to learn more about the field, at the same time that it will satisfy the more experienced professional. --L. Felipe Perrone, Department of Computer Science, Bucknell University Whether you're a security practitioner, developer, manager, or administrator, this book will give you the deep understanding necessary to meet today's security challenges--and anticipate tomorrow's. Unlike most books, The Craft of System Security doesn't just review the modern security practitioner's toolkit: It explains why each tool exists, and discusses how to use it to solve real problems. After quickly reviewing the history of computer security, the authors move on to discuss the modern landscape, showing how security challenges and responses have evolved, and offering a coherent framework for understanding today's systems and vulnerabilities. Next, they systematically introduce the basic building blocks for securing contemporary systems, apply those building blocks to today's applications, and consider important emerging trends such as hardware-based security. After reading this book, you will be able to Understand the classic Orange Book approach to security, and its limitations Use operating system security tools and structures--with examples from Windows, Linux, BSD, and Solaris Learn how networking, the Web, and wireless technologies affect security Identify software security defects, from buffer overflows to development process flaws Understand cryptographic primitives and their use in secure systems Use best practice techniques for authenticating people and computer systems in diverse settings Use validation, standards, and testing to enhance confidence in a system's security Discover the security, privacy, and trust issues arising from desktop productivity tools Understand digital rights management, watermarking, information hiding, and policy expression Learn principles of human-computer interaction (HCI) design for improved security Understand the potential of emerging work in hardware-based security and trusted computing

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