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Cowell also appeared on the one-off World Idol programme in 2003, where it became clear that each country's version of the Idol had attempted to come up with its own "Simon Cowell" type personality.
Cowell formed a new company Syco, consisting of three opera singers and one pop singer of four different nationalities.
He is popularly known for signing successful boybands such as Westlife, One Direction and CNCO.
In 20, Time named Cowell one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Cowell is the principal, founder and chief executive of the British entertainment company Syco.
Cowell often makes blunt and controversial comments as a television show judge, including insults and wisecracks about contestants and their singing abilities.
Subsequently, the show was axed for a second time in January 2017.
Cowell also launched The X Factor USA in September 2011 on American broadcaster Fox. Cowell's act Melanie Amaro won the season, making Cowell the winning judge.
They have sold over 50 million records worldwide, a total that includes studio albums, singles, video releases, and compilation albums.
Cowell returned for series 6 and 7 as well, although series 7 was to be his last, as he left in 2011 in order to launch The X Factor in America.
After placing third in the seventh series of The X Factor in the UK, boyband One Direction signed to Cowell's label in 2011, and the group have gone on to top singles and album charts worldwide.
However, after failing to get a promotion, he left to try out other jobs before returning to EMI.
In 1995, through his persistence, he persuaded two actors, Robson Green and Jerome Flynn from the UK television drama series Soldier Soldier, to sign with him and record the song "Unchained Melody", which they had performed on the show.
Cowell's prominence grew, fed by his signature phrase, "I don't mean to be rude, but ...", inevitably followed by an unsparingly blunt appraisal of the contestant's talents, personality, or even physical appearance.