Undoubtedly one of the most famous media personalities out of the United Kingdom, Simon Cowell has earned a reputation as one of the shrewdest judges in the history of talent competition shows, having served on some of the most popular of such shows including American Idol, The X Factor and America’s Got Talent. An all-round media mogul, Cowell also owns a showbiz company Syco entertainment under which he has worked with some of the most popular music acts out of the UK.
Simon Cowell’s Bio
Simon Phillip Cowell was born on October 7, 1959, in Lambeth, London, but he grew up in Elstree, Hertfordshire. His mother Julie Brett (née Josie Dalglish) was a ballet dancer and socialite and his father, Eric Selig Phillip Cowell was a real estate broker and developer and also a showbiz executive. He has a sister named Lindsay Elizabeth and a younger brother Nicholas. He also has 3 half-brothers John, Tony and Michael and a half-sister named June.
Cowell schooled at Radlett Preparatory School, the independent Dover College as well as Windsor Technical College where he obtained a GCE in Sociology. As a young adult, he took on a few menial jobs before he eventually gained employment at EMI Music Publishing through the help of his father. He left the company in the early 1980s to establish his own business. After failing at an initial attempt, Cowell formed Fanfare Records, alongside Iain Burton. The company recorded a fair level of success in the mid-80s before eventually going under in 1989.
Cowell later joined Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) as a talent scout and manager and also established S Records as a subsidiary of the company. He hit a major career milestone in 1995 when he signed pop music duo Robson & Jerome. He was also instrumental in the group’s release of the hit single “Unchained Melody” and their debut album Robson & Jerome, both of which were the UK’s best-selling single and album of the year respectively. He recorded further success when he signed music bands Five and Westlife, as well as the hit kiddies series Teletubbies.
Cowell’s first gig as a reality show judge was on the music competition Pop Idol and after the show’s first season, he signed the top 2 contestants Will Young and Gareth Gates both of whom achieved No.1 hits in the UK. In 2002, he was brought on as a judge on American Idol, a role he held until 2010. He also floated the showbiz conglomerate ‘Syco’ under which he created the British music competition show The X Factor in 2004 and has served as a judge on the show since its inception except for seasons 8-10.
The record label division of Cowell’s company Syco Music has over the years fronted some of Britain’s most popular music artistes including II Divo, Leona Lewis, One Direction, Camila Cabello, Fifth Harmony, among others. He equally launched The X Factor Australia and The X Factor USA in 2005 and 2011 respectively, though they have both not been as successful as the UK version of the show. Having mastered the business of talent competition shows, he also created America’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got Talent in 2006 and 2007 respectively and equally launched the Spanish-language singing competition La Banda in 2015 in collaboration with Ricky Martin.
Family, Son (Eric)
Simon Cowell has never been married in the past though he has come pretty close to taking that big step. He was previously engaged to make-up artist Mezhgan Hussainy, however, they split before they could make it to the altar. In 2012, he was equally linked to American-born model and actress Carmen Electra.
Cowell’s most notable romantic involvement yet is with American-born socialite Lauren Silverman. The couple had quite a controversial start to their relationship, however, they have endured the test of time since making their romance public in 2013. The duo welcomed their first child on February 14, 2014, a son named Eric Cowell. Eric has been stealing the show since he could talk, especially at the semi-final of 2018 Britain’s Got Talent.
Is Simon Cowell Gay?
Going by Cowell’s extensive relationship timeline, one may easily conclude that he is straight. The British-born media mogul who is known for his brutal candour has equally never suggested otherwise. However, he has been the subject of a media hoax which cast doubts on his true sexuality. During a July 2014 court trial of Tulisa Contostavlos, a former judge on The X Factor UK, it was alleged in one of the pieces of evidence that Cowell was gay. As expected, the ever sharp-witted reality TV judge quickly refuted the false claims, putting a halt to the rumour mills.
Simon Cowell’s long-running showbiz career is known to be financially rewarding. The British-born media mogul earns 8-figure annual salaries for his gigs as a reality TV judge. He was ranked 64th on the Forbes 2018 list of Highest-paid Celebrities after netting a whopping $43.5 million in the period under review. His net worth is pegged at a conservative estimate of $500 million (£385 million).