Simon Phillip Cowell is an English A&R executive, television personality and entrepreneur. He is best known for his role as a judge in the TV show American Idol. Listed as number 41 on ‘New Statesman’s’ ‘The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures 2010’, Simon Cowell is a successful man in the corporate world.
Simon was born on 7th October 1959 in Lambeth, London. He went to Radlett Preparatory School and Dover College that he left after successfully giving his GEC O’ Level exams. He worked various menial jobs including working in the EMI music publishing mail room, but did not really get along with his co-workers. His father, who was a music industry executive, helped Simon get an assistant job with an A&R man in 1971. That was the turning point in his life. Gradually Simon promoted to the higher ranks and in the 1980s formed E&S Music with his former EMI boss, Ellis Rich.
E&S made many hit numbers however Cowell left after a few years to create Fanfare Records which was also a success. Simon worked here for 8 years and helped make Fanfare into a successful ‘indie pop’ label. Fanfare bagged several top ten songs giving Simon his first successful venture. After the shutdown of this company in 1989, Simon had to move back with his parents. However by the end of 1989, he landed a job as a consultant to BMG. The next year he took part in the game show ‘Sale of the Century’. Consequently, he signed up with S-Records for some acts including Curiosity Killed the Cat, Westlife, Sonia, Ultimate Kaos and Robson & Jerome. He also released novelty recordings of Teletubbies, Zig and Zag, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and wrestlers of WWE.
Simon founded another label known as ‘Syco Music’ in 2002, which later joined with Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Columbia Records. Cowell also signed two record-breaking deals in 2006. He teamed up with Simon Fuller in 2001 to produce the show Pop Idol, which became a huge success. Simon’s notorious way of judgment became very popular amongst the public. Simon’s claim to fame in the United States was however his appearance in the hit TV show, American Idol as a judge. This was the American version of Pop Idol. This time Simon was the judge along with Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul. This trio was a huge sensation in the U.S with Simon’s blunt and even controversial style of judgment being the highlight. This show produced many new pop stars including Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, David Cook and David Archuleta. Simon left the show in 2011. He did however continue on his position as judge on ‘The X-Factor’. He is also the executive producer of America’s Got Talent, a show (2006) and Grease Is the World (ITV). He is a judge on Britain’s Got Talent that debuted in 2007. In 2011 he made his first game show called ‘Red or Black’ (ITV). Its second season will be aired weekly in 2012.
His estimated fortune worth is over 200 million pounds, making him the 6th richest person of the British Music Industry.