Simon Cowell made being a jerk cool. The television producer and A&R executive became a star as a judge on American Idol. His snide, disrespectful, overly honest and often humorous banter with contestants and fellow judges is partially (or greatly) responsible for the show's success. It also set a precedent for having a shockingly honest judge on most TV talent shows -- many of whom seem to be British. Following the success of Idol, Cowell created The X Factor and the Got Talent franchise. The shows combined have launched the careers of superstars Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Phillip Phillips, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle and many more.
Simon Phillip Cowell (born 7 October 1959) is an English A&R executive, television producer, entrepreneur, and television personality. He is known in the United Kingdom and United States for his role as a talent judge on TV shows such as Pop Idol, The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and American Idol. He is also the owner of the television production and music publishing house Syco. As a judge, Cowell is known for his blunt and often controversial criticisms, insults and wisecracks about contestants and their abilities. He is also known for combining activities in both the television and music industries, having promoted singles and records for various artists, including television personalities. He was most recently featured on the sixth series of Britain's Got Talent and the first season of The X Factor USA. In 2010, the British magazine New Statesman listed Cowell at number 41 in a list of 'The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010'.
Contributions by Wasted Time R, Shimmera, and Dieter Simon.