Simon Phillip Cowell (born October 7, 1959) is an English record executive, television producer, and entrepreneur who is best known in both the UK and the United States as a talent judge on TV shows such as Pop Idol, American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent, and The X-Factor. He also owns the televison production and music publishing house Syco.
As a judge, Cowell is known for his blunt, honest yet sometimes brutal criticisms, insults, and wisecracks about contestants and their abilitites. He is also known for combining activites in television and music, promoting singles by various artists including TV personalities.
After leaving American Idol in May 2010, Cowell returned as judge and executive producer of the American version of his hit British talent show The X-Factor, which premiered on Fox on September 21, 2011. The X-Factor reunited Cowell with his fellow former Idol judge Paula Abdul, but the reunion was short-lived as Abdul was fired after the show’s first season. The show, however, was renewed for both a second season, which did well, and a third season, which started in September 2013. The show was officially cancelled on February 9, 2014.
On February 14, 2014, Cowell became a first-time father when his girlfriend, Lauren Silverman, gave birth to a son, Eric, who is named after Cowell’s father who passed away in 1999.