HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Simon Cowell received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday, August 22.
Cowell’s friends and family members gathered to celebrate the TV personality known for producing and judging on talent shows including Fox’s “American Idol” and “The X-Factor,” which have thrust the careers of artists like Kelly Clarkson, One Direction and Carrie Underwood. He got his start across the pond as one of the children of music industry executive and real estate agent Philip Cowell and ballet dancer Julie Brett. Born on October 7, 1959, Cowell was raised in Elstree and attended a boarding school in Dover.
After dropping out of school at the age of 16, Cowell took his first steps in what would be a lucrative career in the entertainment industry. He worked as a runner at Elstree stuidios and worked in the mailroom for EMI Music Publishing, where his father worked. He was later promoted as a talent scout for the publishing company.
After the short-lived success of his very own recording company, Fanfare records, Cowell climbed the ranks of BMG records. With Simon Fuller, Cowell produced the 2001 show “Pop Idol” and a year later in 2002, its American counterpart “American Idol.” In 2011, he brought the British Variety show “The X Factor” to America, which brought girl group Fifth Harmony to fame.
At the Hollywood ceremony, “American Idol” season one winner singer Kelly Clarkson spoke briefly about working with Cowell and his strengths as a producer.
“I think his thing that he’s so talented at is just finding authentic people that have a raw talent and are really themselves and that’s all they know how to be. That’s something that should be applauded and praised in this industry especially,” Clarkson said. “Literally we [were] right here 16 years ago when this man helped change my life.”
Cowell took to the podium and thanked those in his life who helped him in his career, including spouse Lauren Silverman. Though both his parents passed away before the unveiling, Cowell said he believes they are looking down on him. He noted he was thankful for the business connections that have turned into cherished friendships.
“It’s been a blast the past 18 years,” said Cowell. “If anyone says fame is a bad thing I don’t know what you’re talking about.”