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Simon Cowell

From Academic Kids

Simon Philip Cowell (born October 7, 1959 in Brighton, England) is a British A&R (artist and repertoire) executive for BMG Records, but is probably best known as a judge on Pop Idol and American Idol television programs. Cowell is notorious for his uncompromisingly harsh and occasionally controversial criticism of Pop Idol and American Idol contestants. Occasionally he comments on already-established pop icons, most recently opining in Esquire magazine that Beyoncé Knowles was overrated.

He started out as a mail room clerk for EMI Music Publishing, but gradually worked his way up through the music industry until he became a record producer. In June 2003, Cowell sold his half-share in S Records for USD$42 million to BMG.

In December 2003, Cowell published a book, I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But...: Backstage Gossip from American Idol & the Secrets that Can Make You a Star. (ISBN 0767917413)

In 2004, he was a judge on a new British TV talent show The X Factor with Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh.

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