Famous talent judge on musical competition TV shows such as the X-Factor, American Idol and Britain's got Talent, Simon's golden buzzer is always awaited. He is also the co-creator of the teen boys band One Direction. He also owns Syco, a musical publishing house and television production company, with which he signed One Direction in 2010.
Above all, Cowell is a real celebrity in Britain and abroad. Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2004 and 2010, and in 2013, the New Statesman ranked him number 10 out of the 60 Nastiest Villains of All Times.
He made himself a reputation from the first seasons of Pop Idol in 2001, American Idol in 2002 and the X Factor UK in 2004, which he created with using his production company Syco. Notorious for his bluntness and often controversial comments as a talent judge, his "I don't mean to be rude, but…" followed by an original appraisal of the candidate, has become his signature phrase.
Simon Cowell left the X Factor UK in 2011 in order to create the X Factor USA, aired on Fox. He was a judge for three seasons in the US before going back to the UK version of the show in 2014. He is the only judge who is guaranteed to return as a judge on the show next year.
Following the success of these music competition shows, Cowell created the 'Got Talent' franchise, open not only to singing but to other forms of art, from dancers to magicians. Both the US and the UK versions (America's got Talent and Britain's got Talent) were aired from 2006 and 2007 onwards respectively and are massively popular today.
He also produced other various show with SycoTV, such as Celebrity Duets, Grease is the Word, and Food Glorious Food. In 2013, he launched, in collaboration with Youtube, a video sharing competition named the You Generation.
Cowell is highly involved in charity work, supporting the Association of Children's hospices in particular. In 2010, he produced Everybody Hurts, the charity single in aid of the victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Last but not least, if you are looking tips and tricks on how to be a pop star, you can buy Cowell's autobiography, titled, unsurprisingly, "I don't meant to be rude, but ….".