Simon Cowell is a British music executive best known in the United States as the straight-shooting judge on America’s Got Talent and former judge of American Idol. He has a net worth of $600 million in 2021, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Cowell made his living signing artists for record labels including EMI Music Publishing, and eventually founded his own record labels before discovering new talent on reality TV, the news outlet reported. His artists included Sinitta, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle, One Direction, Little Mix and Labrinth, according to Talent Recap.
Cowell wrote on Twitter that he was looking forward to the 2021 season of America’s Got Talent in the hours leading up to the premiere.
“Always my favourite moment on @AGT is the Golden Buzzers and there are some surprises this year!” he wrote.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. One of Cowell’s First Jobs Was Working as a Runner on ‘The Shining’ & Cleaned Jack Nicholson’s Axe Between Scenes
Cowell got his start in showbusiness working odd jobs on film sets, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
“However, he had issues getting along with his colleagues and bosses,” the news outlet reported.
One of his first gigs was working as a runner on “The Shining,” Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film, the news outlet said.
Simon’s half-brother told The Sun that at the time, Cowell lived near the studio in Elstree where “The Shining” was filmed. Even though the job was tedious, Cowell took it seriously, his half-brother told The Sun.
“I remember him saying he used to clean Jack Nicholson’s axe between takes for the most famous scenes. He took it very seriously and was very proud. It was so shiny you could see your face in it,” he said, according to The Sun.
2. Cowell’s Dad Eric Philip Cowell, Was an EMI Music Publishing Executive & Simon Cowell Worked in the EMI Mail Room
Simon Cowell’s father, Eric Philip Cowell, was an executive at EMI Music Publishing, but when Simon Cowell wanted a job at the record company, he wasn’t given a free pass up the ladder, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He started working in the mail room, the news outlet reported. He eventually became a producer and left to form his own record label, according to The Balance Small Business.
Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman named their son after Cowell’s father following the elder Eric Cowell’s death, according to Just Simon Cowell. The younger Eric Philip Cowell was born February 14, 2014, in New York City, the website said.
After the birth of his son, Simon Cowell said, “I never knew how much love and pride I would feel,” according to the website.
3. Cowell Formed 3 of His Own Record Labels, E&S Music, & Later, S-Records & Syco Records
Simon Cowell formed three of his own record labels, but did not immediately find success, according to The Balance Small Business. He left EMI Music Publishing to form his own record label, E&S Music, the website said. But E&S Music “didn’t quite make it, forcing Cowell to return to EMI,” the website said.
“He was not content being back and left again shortly afterward to form Fanfare Records with partner Iain Burton. From 1985 to 1989, Fanfare did well thanks to a string of minor hits from its artist, Sinitta,” the website said.
Fanfare was sold to BMG, according to Celebrity Net Worth. When Cowell was 30, BMG offered him the position of A&R Consultant, according to The Balance Small Business. He signed artists who found fame, including boy band Westlife and the pop duo Robson & Jerome, the website said.
He later founded his own label, S-Records, and his latest label, Syco, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
4. Cowell Has Several Charity Ventures Including Feeding America & Appeared on a Video for PETA
Cowell has been a patron of Together for Short Lives since 2009, an organization dedicated to serving children with life-limiting conditions, according to the organization’s website.
“Simon’s support has been transformational and he has made a lasting difference to Together for Short Lives’ awareness-raising and fundraising,” the website said. “Over the years Simon has spent time with many children and families, through visiting children’s hospice and palliative care services such as Richard House Children’s Hospice, Chestnut Tree House and Haven House; and through inviting children and families to join him at The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent studios.”
He also made an appearance on a video for PETA reminding people of the threat to animals when they are left alone in cars. He also donated $1.5 million to Feeding America and Feeding Britain during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
5. Cowell Lives in a $24 Million Malibu Beach House Which He Bought in 2017
Cowell lives in Malibu in a spacious $24 million beach house, according to Hello Magazine. It has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a 1.63-acre lot and an ocean view, the magazine reported.
“Outside, the property has a plunge pool and hot tub, a barbecue area and koi pond, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the space. Simon also has a tennis court, however, previous aerial photos showed it being used as an overflow car park,” the magazine reported in 2020.
The master suite includes a fireplace, two bathrooms and a spa/massage room, and the property also has a four-car garage, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He purchased the home in 2017, the news outlet reported.