Simon Phillip Cowell (/ˈkaʊəl/; born 7 October 1959) is an English television talent judge and mentor, music and television producer, and music talent scout (aka A&R executive). He is most recognized as a judge on the British TV talent competition series Pop Idol, The X Factor, and Britain’s Got Talent, and the American TV talent competition shows American Idol, The X Factor, and America’s Got Talent. Cowell owns the television production and music publishing house Syco.
As a judge, Cowell often makes blunt and controversial comments, including insults and wisecracks about contestants and their abilities. He combines activities in both the television and music industries. Cowell has produced and promoted singles and albums for various artists, including television personalities. He was most recently featured on the ninth series of Britain’s Got Talent and the eleventh series of UK’s The X Factor.
In 2004 and 2010, Time named Cowell one of the 100 most influential people in the world. New Statesman listed Cowell at number 41 in a list of “50 People who Matter [in] 2010”. TV Guide named him #10 in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.
Cowell is involved in a number of charitable activities. He has appeared on the two major UK charity telethons, BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief, and is a patron of the UK charity Together for Short Lives for all children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions, and since 2009, Children’s Hospices UK.
Cowell was born in Lambeth, London and brought up in Elstree, Hertfordshire. His mother, Julie Brett (1925-2015) (née Josie Dalglish), was a ballet dancer and socialite, and his father, Eric Selig Phillip Cowell, Sr. (1918–1999), was an estate agent developer and music industry executive. Cowell’s father was from a mostly Jewish family, though he did not discuss his background with his children (Cowell’s paternal grandmother had emigrated from Poland). Cowell’s mother was from a Christian background, and is of English descent. He has a younger brother, Nicholas Cowell, three half-brothers, John, Tony, and Michael Cowell, and a half-sister, June Cowell.
Cowell attended Radlett Preparatory School and the independent Dover College as did his brother, but left after taking GCE O levels. He passed English Language and Literature, and then attended Windsor Technical College where he gained another GCE in Sociology. Cowell took a few menial jobs—including, according to his brother Tony, working as a runner on Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining—but did not get along well with colleagues and bosses, until his father, who was an executive at EMI Music Publishing, managed to get him a job in the mail room.
Cowell was engaged to make-up artist Mezhgan Hussainy from 2010 until 2011. In July 2013, Andrew Silverman filed for an at-fault divorce in New York, citing adultery by his wife and naming Cowell as a co-respondent. News of the divorce filing became public two weeks later, when it was widely reported that Lauren Silverman and Cowell were expecting a baby. The child would be Cowell’s first, but the second for Silverman, who has a son with Andrew Silverman. When questioned by reporters, Cowell said, “There are a lot of things I will eventually clear up when the time is right, but I really have to be sensitive because there’s a lot of people’s feelings involved here,” while the Silvermans released separate statements expressing concern for the well-being of their son during the divorce process. In August 2013, the Silvermans settled their divorce out of court, enabling Cowell to avoid being called as a witness in the divorce proceedings. Cowell subsequently confirmed that Silverman was pregnant with his child, and she gave birth to baby Eric on 14 February 2014.
Cowell’s net worth is $550 million. His annual salary exceeds $95 million.
**USA ONLY** Bridgetown, Barbados – Simon Cowell and his very pregnant girlfriend Lauren Silverman enjoy the warm sunny weather of Barbados on their holiday vacay before they give birth. Lauren showed off her growing belly in a zebra print bathing suit and white cover up, while Simon showed off his toned figure in blue printed swimming trunks. Simon enjoyed the waters by jet skiing while Lauren sat on the sand and chatted with friends.
AKM-GSI December 31, 2013
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