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Cowell, Simon (I) Biography




biography of Cowell, Simon (I)

Simon Phillip Cowell
Mr. Nasty Judge Dread Nasty Simon Sarcastic Simon
7 October 1959, Brighton, East Sussex, England, UK
5' 9"
Simon was born in Brighton, England. His parents' names are Julie Cowell and Eric Cowell. First made a TV appearance on UK's Pop Idol. Then on America's American Idol.
slyitalian@hotmail.com



-   Brutally honest

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


-   Dropped out of school at the age of 16.

-   Has 3 half-brothers, John, Michael and 'Tony Cowell' (qv), a half sister, former child actress 'June Cowell' (qv), a biological sister, Lindsay Elizabeth and a younger brother 'Nicholas Cowell' (qv).

-   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)_ (qv), 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)_ (qv) judge 'Sharon Osbourne' (qv) - to release "50 Grand for Christmas" in December 2004, which only charted at #35 in the UK.

-   (2004) His former girlfriend is 'Terri Seymour' (qv).

-   His sister's husband is the cousin of pop star 'Robbie Williams (I)' (qv).

-   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' (qv).

-   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/II)_ (qv), 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' (qv) 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: The Search for a Superstar" (2002)_ (qv), $15 million from _"Britain's Got Talent" (2007)_ (qv) and _"The X Factor" (2004)_ (qv), and $12 million from his record label.

-   He is good friends with 'Emma Noble (I)' (qv).

-   (2009) 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 (I)' (qv).

-   (2010) 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" (2011) {(2011-04-05)}_ (qv)).

-   Has said he finds 'Britney Spears' (qv) 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 (IV)' (qv) when he was arrested in 2001.

-   'Stanley Kubrick (I)' (qv) was his neighbour growing up. He pestered Eric Cowell, Simon's father, to sell his property to him.

-   A huge fan of 'Frank Sinatra' (qv).

-   Turned down the chance to manage Take That, who 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)_ (qv).


-   TV commercial for Pizza Hut (2002)

-   TV commercial for Vanilla Coke (2003)

-   [2003] Wrote the book "I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But...: Backstage Gossip from American Idol & the Secrets that Can Make You a Star", which was one part biography, one part helpful guide to those trying to get into the music business.


-   Chas Newkey-Burden. _Simon Cowell - The Unauthorized Biography._ London: Michael O'Mara Books Ltd, 2009. ISBN 1843173905

-   Tom Bower. _Sweet Revenge - The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell._ London: Faber & Faber, 2012. ISBN 0571278353


-   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)_ (qv) 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 (I)' (qv)] "The guy is off his rocker".

-   They ['Paula Abdul' (qv) and 'Randy Jackson (II)' (qv)] loved him. I couldn't stand him ['Taylor Hicks (I)' (qv)]. 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' (qv) is the one who sold the albums, not Taylor.

-   [About the day of his father's death and 'Westlife' (qv) 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 (III)' (qv)]: 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' (qv) 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.


-   _"American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" (2002)_ (qv) -> $8,000,000/yr. (Season 3)

-   _"American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" (2002)_ (qv) -> $50,000/episode (Season 2)

-   _"American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" (2002)_ (qv) -> $100,000 (Season 1)

-   _"American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" (2002)_ (qv) -> $100,000,000/year (2009-10)


-   "Entertainment Weekly" (USA), 14 September 2012, Iss. 1224, pg. 94, by: n/a, "Q&A Simon Cowell"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 4 April 2011, Vol. 59, Iss. 14, pg. 10, by: William Keck, "Simon Cowell: ready to Take On the X Factor"

-   "Entertainment Weekly" (USA), 15 January 2010, Vol. 1, Iss. 1085, pg. 26-31, by: Dave Karger, "'Idol''s New Power Couple"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), May 2009, Vol. 57, Iss. 18, pg. 32-35, by: Debra Birnbaum, "Simon Says - A Lot!"

-   "Playboy" (USA), February 2007, Vol. 54, Iss. 2, pg. 47-48+133-138, by: Rob Tannenbaum, "Playboy Interview: Simon Cowell"

-   "Entertainment Weekly" (USA), 20 May 2005, Vol. 1, Iss. 820, pg. 32-36, by: Jessica Shaw, "Judge Dredd"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 20 March 2005, Vol. 53, Iss. 12, pg. 48-50, by: Mary Murphy, "'I Don't Care About Being Loved'"

-   "Radio Times" (UK), 9 February 2002, Vol. 312, Iss. 4066, pg. 18, "Questionnaire - Simon Cowell"

-   "Heat" (UK), 9 February 2002, pg. 78-81, by: Jo Carnegie, "My trousers won't go down! They're down as much as they can go!"


-   "The Sunday Times Magazine" (UK), 19 September 2010, pg. 24 - 27 + 21 + 31 + 33, by: 'Camilla Long' (qv) (words) 'Jill Greenberg (II)' (qv) (photograph), "Judge for Yourself"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 21 June 2010, Vol. 58, Iss. 26, pg. 30, by: staff, "The Power List"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 17 May 2010, Vol. 58, Iss. 20, pg. 9, by: Shawna Malcom, "Simon Shows His Soft Side"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 3 May 2010, Vol. 58, Iss. 18, pg. 16-20, by: Kim Masters, "There Goes The Judge"

-   "The New York Times" (USA), 11 January 2010, Vol. 159, Iss. 54,917, pg. C1 & C5, by: Edward Wyatt, "The Intrigue Over 'Idol' Is Off Stage"

-   "The New York Times" (USA), 18 December 2009, Vol. 159, Iss. 54,893, pg. B6, by: Brian Stelter, "'American Idol' Creator Plans Web Show"

-   "The Independent" (UK), 14 November 2009, Iss. 7204, pg. 40 - 41, by: Ian Burrell, "The Saturday Profile: Simon Cowell - Idol rich"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 5 October 2009, Vol. 57, Iss. 40, pg. 10, by: staff, "Simon And Paula Together Again?"

-   "AARP: The Magazine" (USA), September 2009, Vol. 52, Iss. 5, pg. 72, by: Bill Newcott, "The Big 5-Oh: Simon Cowell"

-   "The Sun" (UK), 10 April 2008, by: Sara Nathan, "Cowell: We are the world's best"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 23 April 2007, Vol. 55, Iss. 17, pg. 8-9, by: Deborah Starr Seibel, "Simon's Emotional Journey to Africa"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 24 April 2006, Vol. 54, Iss. 17, pg. 34-36, by: Deborah Starr Seibel, "The Truth About Simon"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 8 May 2005, Vol. 53, Iss. 19, pg. 11, by: Damian J. Holbrook, "As Nasty As He Wants To Be"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 13 March 2005, Vol. 53, Iss. 11, pg. 20, by: Michael Davis, "The Truth Hurts"

-   "The Daily Express" (UK), 1 November 2004, pg. 6, by: Caroline Virr, "X Factor fued cost me my chance to be a star"

-   "Daily Star" (UK), 31 August 2004, pg. 27, by: Edward Robertson, "Cowell: I'll Quit + Rude Si Needs More Minders than Blair"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 21 February 2004, Vol. 52, Iss. 8, pg. 42-46, by: Deborah Starr Seibel, "Simon Says..."

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 12 July 2003, Vol. 51, Iss. 28, pg. 42, by: J. Max Robins, "Simon Says CBS"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 31 May 2003, Vol. 51, Iss. 22, pg. 10, by: Deborah Starr Seibel, "Now That's Frightening"

-   "People" (U.S.), 3 February 2003, Vol. 59, Iss. 4, pg. 86, "Getting Simonized"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 17 August 2002, Vol. 50, Iss. 33, pg. 32-36, by: Deborah Starr Seibel, "Simply Simon"

-   "News of the World" (UK), 10 February 2002, pg. 31, by: Ally Ross, "And the winner is...Simon Cowell"


-   "The Sunday Times Magazine" (UK), 19 September 2010

-   "We Love Telly" (UK), 5 June 2010

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 3 May 2010, Vol. 58, Iss. 18

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 4 May 2009, Vol. 57, Iss. 18

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 14 January 2008, Vol. 56, Iss. 2

-   "Entertainment Weekly" (USA), 12 January 2007, Vol. 1, Iss. 915

-   "Rolling Stone" (USA), 6 April 2006, Vol. 1, Iss. 997

-   "Radio Times" (UK), 9 August 2003, Vol. 318, Iss. 4143

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 17 May 2003, Vol. 51, Iss. 20

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