Music Producer and TV talent show legend Simon Cowell has brought some of the biggest stars to our TV screens and radios throughout the years.
The man behind shows including Britains Got Talent and The X Factor, Simon has introduced audiences around the world to hit artists including Little Mix, One Direction, Susan Boyle and Leona Lewis, plus many others.
He is now on the search for the next big act, as auditions for the next series of Britains Got Talent get underway.
However, Simon has become a celebrity in himself, with his memorable TV appearances and blunt criticism of the artists, as well as his many outspoken comments.
Along the way he has also made a huge estimated net worth of $600million (£438m), as well as making cameo appearances as himself in TV programmes such as the The Simpsons.
However his own personal life has been just as wild as the one we have seen on screen, including making his name working with novelty acts, a rumoured feud with another star and having a string of high profile romances.
Novelty record king
Long before he became the king of TV talent show competitions, Simon Cowell was the king of the novelty record, signing huge music deals for some of the world's biggest programmes.
After working for both EMI and his own label Fanfare Records, he began working in A&R for BMG Records in the ninties, creating records with novelty acts including Big Breakfast puppets Zig and Zag.
He also produced records in conjunction with some of the biggest TV programmes including Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and the World Wrestling Federation (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE).
However, he soon turned his talents to recording with musical artists, landing a number one record after working with actors Robson and Jerome on the hit Unchained Melody.
From there, he also went on to sign other huge music artists including boybands Five and Westlife, becoming one of the biggest names in the record industry.
Simon certainly has a talent for finding some of the world's biggest artists, as his chart topping acts have since included One Direction and Little Mix too.
Gary Barlow 'feud' rumours
Take That singer Gary Barlow was recently a host on ITV singing competition Walk The Line, which was a brand new programme created by Simon Cowell.
The two had previously worked together when Gary was a judge on The X Factor, but rumours of a feud began to be reported soon after the show went to air in 2011.
It was also reported that Simon had become jealous of Gary when he was awarded an OBE in 2012 and in an unauthorised biography of Simon Cowell, author Tom Bower said: "The announcement that Barlow would receive an OBE for arranging the event added to his irritation. He chased that madly to get three initials after his name.
"The ambitions of Barlow, he believed, were comical."
It was also reported that Simon Cowell was left unimpressed when Gary launched a rival singing competition called Let it Shine on BBC, with a source telling The Sunday People: "Simon’s team was keeping a close eye on Gary’s show.
"They want to make sure that it’s completely different to his own projects. Simon has since been advised to abandon his case against Let It Shine.
"He is very serious when it comes to protecting the intellectual property of his shows. He trail blazed in the TV talent show sector and has to protect his brand.
"But it’s very hard to win these kind of cases and his legal team has gone back to him to say any action would most likely be fruitless."
However, after Gary Barlow was invited to be a judge on Walk The Line, the move seemed to indicate an end to a long running 'feud' between the two stars, with Simon telling The Sun: "This is a situation where I have decided it is right for me to focus on my role as the creator and producer as we build up to the hugely exciting launch.
"Gary’s musical pedigree is second to none – and we have known each other a long time now – so I am delighted he is picking up the baton for me for the first series of Walk The Line. I know he will do a fantastic job."
In 2020, Simon Cowell underwent surgery after suffering a horrific back injury while riding his bike.
He was testing the electric bike at his home in Malibu, California, when he fell off and broke his back, requiring six hours of surgery that saw the music producer have a metal rod fitted to his spine.
Simon told Extra TV: "I knew I’d broken my back the minute I landed. It was really, really kind of sudden and it hurt.
"You’re not supposed to move. I was thinking: 'I’ve got to get back into the house because I can’t lie there'… and made myself kind of get carried into my bedroom, which is right there at the beginning of the house… And I’m lying there and I’m kind of passing out… It was surreal."
He also said that despite the horrific injury, his injuries could have been much more severe, adding: "It could have been a lot worse.
"When I saw the X-ray, I really nearly could have smashed my spine to pieces, so I literally wouldn’t have been able to walk."
However, he has since recovered after taking time out from recording America's Got Talent.
During his career, Simon Cowell has had a number of high profile relationships, including dating models Jackie St Clair and Paula Hamilton.
However, one of his most famous relationships was with singer Sinitta, who Simon met after working with her on the hit Stock, Aitken and Waterman record So Macho in 1986, with the couple dating for a brief period of time.
The star also revealed in 2013 that due to a health complication, she and Simon had to make the tough decision to abort their baby when Sinitta fell pregnant in the eighties.
Although the couple have since split up, they have remained close, with Simon becoming godfather to her two children.
The singer told The Express: "We are lifelong friends and have become like family.
"Despite the highs and lows we have both been through, we are still the same people at heart.
"He has changed a lot but so have I, we care for one another, and we get on so well.
"We have also been there for each other in extremely bad times. Maybe that is the secret to all good friends, people who 'get' you."
Since then, Simon has also had high profile romances with stars including Terri Seymour, who he dated from 2002-2008 and Mezghan Hussainy, who he dated for three years between 2009-2012.
He has also been linked to a number of high profile figures including model Louise Payne and film star Carmen Electra.
However, the music producer has now settled down with Lauren Silverman, who he has been dating since 2013, after they began seeing each other while Lauren was with her ex-husband Andrew Silverman.
Simon and Lauren have one child together called Eric, who was born in 2014.
Lavish engagement proposal
Earlier this year, Simon Cowell finally popped the question to partner Lauren Silverman, reportedly giving her an engagement ring worth over £250,000.
The engagement news also came as a shock to many of his showbiz pals, who were delighted for the couple.
Fellow Britains Got Talent host Amanda Holden expressed her excitement on her Heart Radio breakfast show, saying: "Simon said he would never get married, and obviously Lauren has been by his side and you now they've been through so much together, and I think she's the one, but I don't know if she ever thought he would put a ring on it!"
"And then last night we all got the text saying, 'It's happening' and we couldn't believe it, and I knew it would be in the papers today if we got the text last night. So I was like 'oh my goodness!'"
Simon had previously been spotted on the red carpet with Lauren in 2021 before the engagement news was announced, and speaking to OK! Magazine, he said that the couple were more in love than ever before.
He said: "the romance is still alive. We're closer than ever."
Simon also gushed about their son Eric during the interview, saying how much he loves spending time with him, adding: "I love his company. He’s so competitive – if we’re having a drawing competition or something, it’s the most important thing in the world to him, which cracks me up.
"We have a very similar sense of humour. We get each other. He’s the best."
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