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Simon Cowell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (36) | Personal Quotes (182) | Salary (4)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 7 October 1959Lambeth, London, England, UK
Birth NameSimon Phillip Cowell
Nicknames Mr. Nasty
Judge Dread
Nasty Simon
Sarcastic Simon
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Simon was born in London, England. His parents' names are Julie Cowell and Eric Cowell. Cowell started his career in the music industry working in the mailroom at EMI Music Publishing. He worked as a record producer, talent scout and consultant within the music industry before producing the hit British TV show Pop Idol and its U.S. counterpart, American Idol. Cowell's scathing comments were famous during his 10 seasons as a judge on American Idol. He started judging The X Factor in 2011.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: slyitalian@hotmail.com

Trade Mark (2)

Brutally honest
Solid-coloured shirts and sweaters (usually white, grey or black) with jeans.

Trivia (36)

Dropped out of school at the age of 16.
Has 3 half-brothers, John, Michael and Tony Cowell, a half sister, former child actress June Cowell, a biological sister, Lindsay Elizabeth and a younger brother Nicholas Cowell.
He worked as a mail boy at EMI and eventually worked his way to become an A&R representative.
Says that the first time he gave a criticism was at age four when he looked at his mother's white fuzzy pillbox hat and remarked "Mum, you look like a poodle" [Source: His book "I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But..."]
During auditions for The X Factor (2004), he made a bet with auditionee Paul Holt that he would pay him £50,000 if he got a #1 single. Holt was quickly signed by a record label - and backed by The X Factor (2004) judge Sharon Osbourne - to release "50 Grand for Christmas" in December 2004, which only charted at #35 in the UK.
His former girlfriend is Terri Seymour.
His sister's husband is the cousin of pop star Robbie Williams.
He has 2 nieces and a nephew, namely: Tanyette Chantel (born October 18, 1981), Melissa Lee (born July 10, 1984), and Joshua Aaron, (born April 15, 1986) all 3 of whom have appeared in the audience during various episodes of Pop Idol Season 1.
His best friend is his London neighbor Jacqueline St. Claire.
During an auditioning, a female participant told Simon and the other judges that she quit her job at a hair salon so she can pursue her dreams on American Idol; when getting rejected, Simon had asked for the phone and called the owner of the participant workplace where the rejected contestant got her job back.
Made his screen debut in 1990, on the UK TV series Sale of the Century (1989), his prize for winning - Kitchen Utensils.
In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated his U.S. earnings at $45 million for the year.
His father Eric Cowell was a record company executive with EMI. He died at home in 1999 of a massive heart attack on the very day that Simon got his first Number One with a then-unknown band called Westlife who his dad had predicted would become big.
Allergic to lambs' wool. Buys expensive cashmere jumpers.
Ranked #6 in the 2008 Telegraph's list "the 100 most powerful people in British culture".
In 2007, he earned an estimated $72 million in income from his various projects. $45 million from American Idol (2002), $15 million from Britain's Got Talent (2007) and The X Factor (2004), and $12 million from his record label.
He is good friends with Emma Noble.
The Sunday Times List estimated his net worth at $196 million.
(May 10, 2010) Merited a place in Time magazine's - The 100 Most Influential People in the World ("Artists" category) - with a tribute provided by Nick Cannon.
A TV commercial proposal was made to him by his agent who told him that he would be paid $1m for a day's work (the good news). When Cowell asked about the bad news, he was informed that the commercial was for "Viagra". Cowell reneged (interview: Piers Morgan Tonight: Episode dated 5 April 2011 (2011)).
Has said he finds Britney Spears to be fascinating and wants her to be a part of The X Factor (2011).
Put up £50,000 bail money for pop impresario Jonathan King when he was arrested in 2001.
Stanley Kubrick was his neighbour growing up. He pestered Eric Cowell, Simon's father, to sell his property to him.
A huge fan of Frank Sinatra.
Turned down the chance to manage Take That, which went on to become one of the major boy bands of the 1990s.
Has a neighbouring mansion, next to Elton John's, in Beverly Hills.
A dog lover.
A woman broke into his London home in 2011.
Susan Boyle's star-making audition was one of Cowell's favourite moments on Britain's Got Talent (2009).
Has a waxwork figure in Madame Tussauds.
When living in Elstree as a boy, Cowell rubbed shoulders with Roger Moore, Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Bette Davis and Maureen O'Hara. He even sat on Davis' knee while she learned her lines. Moore used to invite the Cowell's to see recording of The Saint (1962).
Was once a waiter in Elton John's restaurant in London.
Before becoming famous, Cowell held down several brief jobs; quantity surveyor, a job at Tesco (he never made it past the interview), trainee law clerk, a runner, a waiter, a job in the EMI mailroom, and an estate agency where he had his worst job ever as a canvasser.
Got the UK No 1 of the new millennium with Westlife.
A big fan of Luther Vandross and Barry White.
Became a father for the 1st time at age 54 when his girlfriend Lauren Silverman gave birth to their son Eric Cowell on February 14, 2014.

Personal Quotes (182)

I'd accept an honour but I don't think I'm likely to get one. The Queen once described me as a dreadful man
To a Pop Idol (2001) contestant: "Let me throw a mathematical dilemma at you - there's 500 left, well how come the odds of you winning are a million to one?".
[Asked if he feels guilty about what he says to the American Idol contestants] "No, what I am doing is kind by telling people who are useless 'Do something that you're good at'. So I would only feel guilt if I misled somebody who was terrible."
We've done three seasons of American Idol and by now it is safe to assume that most people know that you have to be able to sing. But people turn up who can't sing a note and yet they believe they are the Second Coming.
Sit in these auditions for three weeks and hear "I Believe I Can Fly out of tune for the millionth time, YOU try and be nice
If you would have asked me what I thought of America before I came over here I would have used the word 'corny'. And then you come over here and you find that it's not corny at all. British people are very cynical, they cannot bear someone else's success. Americans embrace other people's success. Everything in America is larger than life.
[To the infamous Keith who sang a horrible rendering of 'Like a Virgin'] "Keith, last year I described someone as being the worst singer in America. I think you're possibly the worst singer in the world ... I've never, ever heard anything like that in my life, ever."
I don't want babies the same way I wouldn't want a puppy. It's too much responsibility.
I don't take myself seriously and I don't consider myself a star.
[on Michael Jackson] "The guy is off his rocker".
They [Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson] loved him. I couldn't stand him [Taylor Hicks]. I didn't get it. At the end of the day you have to find a bona fide recording artist. Just because you win the show doesn't mean you will sell a lot of records. Chris Daughtry is the one who sold the albums, not Taylor.
[About the day of his father's death and Westlife at number one]: The ultimate irony. The worst thing that could happen, and the best - all in the one day. It just shocked me to the core. I just never thought my dad wouldn't be around. I phoned him to tell him about the Number One, because that's what I did. When something good happened, I called my dad. At first, my mother couldn't even tell me he was dead. She just listened to me burbling on. Then she called me back to tell me. Awful.
Sometimes it's mind-numbingly boring and it shows on my face. (about American Idol)
Music videos have become the equivalent of moving wallpaper. You notice them, but you can't remember them.
What luxury would I take to a desert island? A mirror. It's true. I'd miss me.
I don't want to marry anyone, because whoever marries me will end up hating me.
If I went to a psychiatrist, it would be a long session. I've always thought that I do have a number of issues that probably need dealing with, because I am quite odd in some ways. I get very dark moods for no reason. Nothing in particular brings it on. You can be having the best time of your life and yet you're utterly and totally miserable. I get very antisocial, depressed and irritable with people. I don't have time for them. I can't make phone calls and stuff. I just sit on my own for days. I'm not sitting in a darkened room rocking. Things might have gone really well and then I torture myself. I cannot believe it. I have to find something to make me miserable. Someone said to me recently: 'You're like a human buffet table. Everyone comes and takes something from you and, at the end, there's nothing left'. The last time I felt that way was when I looked at my diary and realised I had the next 18 months planned. I could tell you where I was going to be every day - which city, what time and almost what I was going to eat. That really depressed me.
What is there to be excited about turning 50? Can't we just pretend it is not going to happen?
[on plastic surgery] I think you've got to be very careful as a guy, in particular, that you can end up looking really, really weird.
[on Botox] Of course I have had it. I mean, for me, it's like cleaning my teeth, you know? Something makes your teeth whiter or something stops you having lines.
[About Cheryl Cole]: The hardest thing to accept is that everyone has painted me as a monster because I embarrassed her. But the truth was I was protecting her. I just want people to be in the best place at the right time. It wasn't that she was terrible. She was good. I just thought she'd be happier in the UK.
I only play to win.
It's not our intention to be mean. That's just within us.
I have an absolute hatred of losing. Even losing at Monopoly as a kid. I just want to beat the competition.
I will never borrow money again.
I read The Sun to see what people want.
Cruelty is good television.
We'll speak about general matters for the first five minutes and the rest of the time we'll speak about me.
[money] If it could pour on me every day like a shower, I would lie in it for an hour. I just love it.
Marriage is an outdated contract.
Work is my mistress.
Embrace the madness.
Talking to celebrities is too much effort. They all think the same.
Pudsey is the act I've been waiting for all my life.
One Direction are the success story X-Factor acts should aspire to.
[2012] I've never been happier.
When you're having hits, you're set on a new path.
Give me one day to make a pilot (episode) and I'll show you that it works.
Will Young is a fake, sniveling little drama queen.
Britney Spears is the Greta Garbo of pop.
X-Factor: USA has become the underdog.
We have to find a star who is the equivalent of Manchester United.
One Direction are my best calling card.
Once I've gone off someone, that's it for life.
My life is a night shift.
I've got to become uncluttered.
I'm enjoying daytimes now.
I'm not going to waste my energy on focusing what others do.
Many stars prefer their own company.
[Susan Boyle] She's like a great underdog story.
[thinking back on Susan Boyle's star-making audition] I felt the audience getting restless, smelling blood even. And that changed after the singing. After the chorus, her life had changed forever. That was a magical audition, like no one else's.
[when Susan Boyle lost to Diversity] I could see the fear in her eyes - its all over.
Was Susan Boyle right to dream a dream? Yes. Susan Boyle was good for all of us. She was certainly good for me because I look at me in that audition and saw something I didn't like, which was incredibly judgmental. Susan will help an awful lot of people who didn't have the confidence to do this.
[Cowell's first words to Susan Boyle] Alright, what's your name darling?
[Cowell's reaction to Susan Boyle wanting to sing I Dreamed a Dream in 2009] Big song.
People need an escape and this is what I provide - an excuse to laugh and forget your problems. We change people's lives.
[after hearing Susan Boyle's performance of I Dreamed a Dream on Britain's Got Talent 2009] Susan, you are a little tiger, aren't you?
[Cowell's first thought when he laid eyes on Susan Boyle] This will take five seconds and then I can go have a cup of tea.
Come as who you are, not who you want to be.
[Britain's Got Talent] It gives the underdog a shot, and I think it's brilliant. The great thing about it is when you start seeing it in places like China and Afghanistan. It's democracy. We've given democracy back to the world.
Susan (Boyle) could become the biggest star I've ever discovered. Susan is the biggest entertainment story this year (2009). Its the biggest phenomenon I've ever seen out of any of my shows (Britain's Got Talent). Broadway and Hollywood are possibilities for Susan. I would love to sit her down for five minutes and say "Susan, you proved a point. You turned us around in five seconds, I apologize for ever doubting you". She is one of the most famous people in the world. If nothing else happens she has acceptance and for whatever reason, I don't think she had that before.
[to Susan Boyle] I absolutely adore you.
We've never had a runner-up like Susan (Boyle) before. She won over a lot of fans with her voice and graciousness.
[on Piers Morgan] He is sensitive to criticism, much more so than I am. This is the sort of person who will Google himself twenty times a day to find something positive.
Success rarely changes anyone. Rather it gives them the power to be what they always were.
If I want art, I'll buy it.
[Los Angeles] It's a very difficult place to try and make it from the bottom up. It only works if you're dealing from a position of strength.
If you have the opportunity to get a part on a TV show, no matter how small it seems, take it.
Mariah Carey is the epitome of a diva.
The minute you start to compromise on a band or an artist, you're finished.
[Westlife went to No 1 and his father died at the same time] The best day of my life had suddenly become the worst day of my life.
Most good songwriters are whores. They go where the money is.
Nothing is more demoralizing than a bad set of contestants. And nothing is more invigorating than seeing a real talent emerge.
Never over-negotiate your initial salaries. If things work out afterwards, the money will follow. Ask for too much at the beginning and you may not get the job.
[Pete Waterman] He was arrogant, conceited and rude - and a genius. My kind of guy.
I'm often asked if I can take criticism, and I always think back to those days when the tough feedback of someone who knew more than me helped me so much more than fake praise.
My favourite contestant is the one who tells us I've given up everything for this. I've sacrificed a lot to live this dream. How old are you I ask? 17 they reply. In other words, this is an accurate representation of life today. Make me famous. Make me rich. I want it all. Now!
People are intuitively aware of a front-runner or a leader.
[his reply when people ask him what they need to do to break into the music industry] Don't bother.
When you see a hundred singers a day, it's amazing if you can remember even a handful of them.
Because I'm not shy, I let my feelings be known in the press.
If I knew what made Cheryl (Cole) special, I would bottle it and sell it.
I have become famous for being rude. I'm the honest one.
The music industry is a culture awash with sycophants and yes-men.
Many celebs make the fatal mistake of reading their press, absorbing it and changing their ideas about themselves on the basis of what fans and critics say about them, e.g. Michael Jackson.
'Jennifer Lopez' embodies the pop dream. Her rags to riches story proves that anyone can do great things with hard work, talent and a little luck.
Be patient and wait for the right thing to come your way.
I'm as competitive with somebody who works for my company as I am with somebody who works for another label.
Whether you're Elvis Presley or Frank Sinatra, you're remembered for your songs.
A new artist costs 2 to 3 million pounds to launch properly. That's an expensive shag.
Sometimes there are performers that hook you from the first time you see them.
The disco era was one of the best times for pop music - ever. It was an era that encouraged fun, glamour and excess.
It would have been good if Dad could have been here to enjoy at least some of my success.
As a judge of talent, Pete Waterman is one of the best, because he's not sitting there as a record producer. He's sitting there as a true lover of music and talent - a fan. Pete is TV gold.
If the public don't warm to your personality, you're out. The music industry requires that you have a larger-than-life personality.
One minute, you're driving the 8:15 from Crewe to London, and three months later, you're on stage in front of millions of people.
No matter how bad things are, if you've got the guts and the determination, you can fulfill your dream.
Nobody's perfect.
First impressions count in this business. Even if you have a voice like Barbra Streisand, you won't get very far if you're ordinary.
In her day, Madonna was one of the most innovative artists in the world. She had that instinct to know what producers to work with, and how and when to reinvent herself. She is a legend, but now she's a mother and a wife, she's respectable.
The world I was born into was very different from the way the world is now. No McDonalds, no colour TV, and luckily, no Paula Abdul.
Elvis and his management team were the first to recognize the power of television as the most powerful method of selling millions of records.
[at 4 years of age] I may not have been able to read, but I knew precisely what music I didn't like - and my parents had a sizable collection of it.
Tom Jones has that ability to appeal to both kids and older people.
Many comedians aren't funny when they're offstage.
[his first thought when he saw Paula Abdul] Cute.
[his second thought when he saw Paula Abdul] Small.
90% of the people are awful and 10% are good. Since 100% of the contestants believe they're destined to be big stars, 90% are deluded. Its an epidemic.
The difference with US contestants is they fight back.
Auditions are a very difficult, one-sided process.
America is a huge country with a wonderful tradition of superb singers.
Performances without the critique just doesn't work. It heightens the appeal of the show.
America does glitzy events better than any other country.
[what it takes to win] We need someone who has the potential to be a star around the globe. Someone who is focused, talented, and a hard worker in every respect. You know when you're in the presence of a star.
As a record executive based in England, I was trained to think of America as the ultimate market.
Like so many artists, I felt Paula (Abdul) was a mix of arrogance and insecurity.
As far as kids are concerned, I'm brilliant with them, as long as they belong to other people and I don't have to be with them 24 hours a day.
The people on the bottom rung look up to those at the top, and the ones at the top invariably look down on those at the bottom.
[the music business] The real sexy job in this business was to work for a record label. This was a business you had to teach yourself, and if you were going to succeed, you have to take risks.
The Sex Pistols' appearance on The Bill Grundy Show was the most cynical, brilliant piece of TV I've ever seen.
I hate office politics because its so boring.
Personality makes a massive difference.
I am a very good judge. We look for those with the greatest potential; the singers and performers who could be molded and encouraged.
[early auditions] I was sure the audience would respond to that, because it showcased what's inherently funny about the industry - the egos, the delusions, the tantrums, and of course, the singers who were horrendous but believed they were the Second Coming.
[Lionel Ritchie] He had a fantastic sense of humour, was as smart as a whip and was as musically astute as anyone I had ever met.
Freedom of the press is a good thing.
There's a world of difference between a winner and a runner-up.
We now live in a fame epidemic. There has never been another time when so many young people sought celebrity status. Every magazine available portrays a lifestyle that looks great. My job is to point out to all the hopefuls the reality of what they're after. If you want that lifestyle you have to have talent. And you have to realize you may have to work for it.
On the first day of any show you are conscious of the lights and cameras and the fact that you are on TV. By the second day, after listening to 160 wannabes who can't sing quite in time, you don't care. You just want them to leave the room.
A bad singer who believes in himself has a different look in his eyes from that of a bad singer who comes in to make a mockery of the audition process. The latter has a funny little smile, or a weird kind of bravado.
[on Pete Waterman] He speaks his mind and doesn't give a shit.
Having worked in the music business for 35 years, its probably the funniest business on Earth. When I watch Top of the Pops now, I don't find anything funny in it anymore. Our main job is to make an entertaining TV show, which honestly reflects the pop music industry. If we ever get it totally right though, no one will watch.
It helps if you can write your own songs if you want to be a singer. If you can't its all the more harder.
I am never just looking for a talent, but rather a talent with a head start.
[Michael Jackson] He's the equivalent of a Victorian freakshow.
I tend to think its the song that's more powerful than the performer. Its a catch 22 situation: without the hit songs, artists don't have careers, but without careers, they won't have access to the hit songs.
New artists need to be smart about their careers and take the path of lesser resistance when first establishing their names.
I have little patience for anybody who isn't prepared to put in 15-hour days.
There's a myth in this business that if you don't hit by the time you're 25, you'll never make it. No one is governed by age.
I love anyone who can reinvent themselves. You can reinvent yourself not just through image, but through great pop songs.
When you meet Elton John, you're meeting a star with a capital S. He is what pop music is all about.
Genius is strange.
[on Mark Owen] Nice guy, bad instincts.
Once you devote yourself to a pop career, you'll spend much of your time in audition rooms.
There was only one Michael Jackson, thank God.
Don't sing and dance at the same time; it smacks of cabaret.
Eye contact is a sign of confidence. Grovelling is an act of desperation.
Most stars aren't nice, trust me.
Food is fuel.
Someone with experience in the music business might be able to see something in you that you don't see in yourself.
Entertainment careers are all about momentum and courage.
Many stars fall from their perch so rapidly they lose their dignity along with their reputation.
Pop culture distorts fame and breeds a certain sense of entitlement.
Writing a hit song is one of the hardest jobs on Earth. If you can find an artist who is a gifted songwriter - hallelujah! They're as rare as the Loch Ness Monster. Take a picture to prove they exist.
Pop music is a youth market, and a business.
Don't pay too little attention to what people say about you.
If you forget about the people who put you on top, you'll become unglued.
The artists who endure are the ones who stay focused even after they have reached the top of their profession. In this business, there's always someone younger and hungrier coming up behind you. Staying famous is by no means guaranteed.
Being No 1 in the charts used to mean something. The pop charts have lost the plot that made them so exciting to watch.
Oasis made bad behaviour newsworthy.
Artists are so perfectly handled and manicured that they don't have anything to say except careerist babble. I don't see any personalities anymore.
If I was 17 and a glamour model knocked on my bedroom door, I'd have definitely invited her in.
Barbra Streisand can be out of the news for five years, but if she announced tomorrow that she was holding a concert, it would sell out faster than any concert on Earth. She's like a film star from the 40s - she lives in the mansion on the hill, the public knows little about her private life, but she's not plastered all over the tabloids everyday. She's not like Madonna, who gives it all away in each incarnation and then has to remake herself to replenish her mystique. Barbra Streisand keeps her distance, is a little cooler, but no less respected.
Justin Timberlake is a force to be reckoned with. He understood the point of springboard appeal. He evolved into a fully-fledged star.
Entertainers do not rise to the top of they're craft, or even the middle without determination. Determination is an overused word, and the idea has become something of a cliché, but it's vital and true. Madonna's determination and confidence turned her into a pop star; her idea of herself as superior that separated her from the rest of the pack.
A recording artist is probably the best job anyone could hope to have. The business is unpredictable and ruthless, but the rewards are huge. And it could be you, if you can sing.
When rubbish stories are printed by the press, the public begins to believe them and the damage is done.
People need to be ruthless to make it to the very top.
If you're too confident the voting public thinks you don't need its help.
A good voice and a personality to match are hard to find.
[Peter Andre] I would rather crawl through a maggot box than listen to his album.
The future of the music business depends on how quickly we adapt to things going wrong. If sales are down we're not giving the public what it wants.
More PR people are spinning stories to cover failure than actually doing the song they're supposed to do.
I preferred the time when the pop market was less crowded but had bigger stars. When acts like Bros, Take That and the Spice Girls made it big, they were out on their own and it was a far more exciting time.
I really can't think of anybody who I've dated who I hate or who hates me. Just because a woman isn't your girlfriend, that doesn't mean she can't stay in your life.
The day I met Pete Waterman was easily the most important day of my career.
Pop was what I liked and understood. Pop for me would always be the future.
TV is the most important factor in selling pop music.
An entertainment career requires ridiculous amounts of hard work and difficult sacrifices. But the rewards, if you're lucky enough to enjoy them, are also huge, but getting there is almost impossible.
A good manager is an absolute necessity.
I couldn't care less if people think I'm gay because it's nothing to be ashamed of. If I was living 200 years ago in a coal mine, maybe, but I work in possibly the gayest industry in the world! Music and TV! It would make no difference to my life or my career.
I work out three or four times a week, I have Botox, take tons of vitamins and vitamin infusions - if you believe that these things work, you will feel better.

Salary (4)

American Idol: The Search for a Superstar (2002) $100,000(Season 1)
American Idol: The Search for a Superstar (2002) $50,000/episode (Season 2)
American Idol: The Search for a Superstar (2002) $100,000,000/year (2009-10)
American Idol: The Search for a Superstar (2002) $8,000,000/yr. (Season 3)

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