Simon Cowell is a household name, and arguably one of the most well-known reality television judges in the world. As the man behind Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, Cowell has raked in quite a bit of money; enough to rank him sixth in The Daily Telegraph’s list of “100 Most Powerful People in British Culture.”
But just what is Cowell’s net worth? How much money is he worth, and what’s his salary?
Read on to find out.
1. He Has an Estimated Net Worth of $570 Million
Cowell is best known for his role as a judge on competition shows like American Idol, The X Factor, and America’s Got Talent. And when it comes to these shows, he admits to being an integral part of the production.
In 2014, he told the Financial Times, “I’ve got a really, really good attention to detail… Even when I’m on a show, I know what’s going on, and if it’s going wrong what we have to do to try to fix it. I’m minutely involved in every part, literally down to the colour of the floor. I can spot a lightbulb out at 100 metres. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, it’s just that I’m always aware of my surroundings. I like it to look a certain way, to sound a certain way.”
Cowell’s success spans the globe. To date, there are 68 different versions of Got Talent and 56 X Factors. Mike Darnell, who helped launch American Idol and spent 19 years at FOX as the President of Alternative Entertainment, says of Cowell, “He was the biggest star to come out of Idol, even compared to Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson… Every version of Idol, globally, had to find their Simon.”
2. His Annual Salary Regular Exceeds $95 Million
With the many shows he is a judge for, it should come as no shock that Cowell’s annual salary is upwards of $95 million. And that number is only going to rise.
In March, Deadline announced that Cowell secured a deal with BBC One for another series, The Greatest Dancer.
Eight episodes were ordered, and the show will feature Glee star Matthew Morrison, and Strictly Come Dancing dancer Oti Mabuse. The series will be executive produced by Syco Entertainment.
While Simon enjoys dabbling in different shows, he admits that The Voice is his “nemesis”. Speaking to Billboard.com, Cowell explains, “As much as I sulked about it — I still do, actually — you have to understand why it worked… The Voice feels very modern. I’ve never been a fan of artists judging artists, but the panel works so well. They have perfect chemistry, as we did on Idol when it started.”
3. His Career Started as a ‘Runner’ on the Film ‘the Shining’
Simon’s career started as what he says was “worse than a production assistant”– he was a ‘runner’ on Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining.
Then, at 16, he decided whether to go into the film or music business. “I took a job in the mail room at EMI Music Publishing… I decided on the music business,” he tells Interview Magazine.
In the early 1980s, he left EMI. He subsequently formed Fanfare Records, and sold exercise videos, and music from groups like Rondo Veneziano. He also produced music by Stock Aitken Waterman– largely considered his first successful act.
Cowell went on to work with BMG as an A&R consultant. It was at this job that he persuaded Robson Green and Jerome Flynn to sign with him; the two recorded “Unchained Melody” which became No. 1 in the UK. It was the best selling record of 1995.
4. He Owns a $24 Million Malibu Estate
In December 2017, Cowell purchased a $24 million ocean-view compound in Malibu.
The LA Times reports that the home was built in 1988, and includes six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and over 8,600 square feet of living space.
The house, which sits on two acres of land, was originally listed at $29.95 million.
Simon maintains a comfortable, and highly guarded household. In 2014, a reporter for the Financial Times visited Cowell at his home in Beverly Hills, and wrote, “His wealth ensures that he is extremely well cared for. Elsewhere in his mansion this evening are: a security guard, his head of public relations, two personal assistants, a chef and his housekeeper, who brings him a bowl of spaghetti bolognese, with grilled salmon for me.”
5. He Is the Founder of Syco
Along with his role as a judge on a variety of competition shows, Cowell is the founder of Syco, a British entertainment company, and the company behind The X Factor and the Got Talent series.
Syco is currently owned by Sony. These days, it operates as a record label, talent agency, film, music, and television production company. It is known for releasing records by musicians like One Direction, Little Mix, Camila Cabello, Fifth Harmony, and more.
Speaking to Interview Magazine, Cowell says he has the best job in the world. “When it’s going well, it’s probably the best job in the world. I used to love watching TV as a kid, and I’ve always loved music, so when you’re in a position where you’re working on two things you like, you don’t get that awful Sunday-evening feeling I used to get when I was at school round about 7:30 at night, where I used to feel sick at the thought of waking up on a Monday morning.”
But is the Simon Cowell we’re used to on television really the Simon Cowell his friends know? Perhaps not. Speaking to Billboard.com, Epic Records president Antonio LA Reid, who was a juge on X Factor US, says of the music mogul, “His TV persona, the guy who could cut you with his words — the Simon I know is the exact opposite… In my career, I’ve never met anyone so charming. He speaks in catchphrases, like a song that’s full of choruses. ‘Speaking in hooks,’ I call it.”