Cowell is a record company executive, television and film producer and global TV icon. Known for his eye for talent and candid verdicts, Cowell has completely transformed popular culture through his entertainment enterprise.
Cowell's joint venture with Sony Music, titled Syco Entertainment, is one of the world's leading global music, film and TV production companies and is responsible for some of the most successful global music and TV franchises. Artists signed to Syco Music include One Direction, Little Mix, Susan Boyle, Ella Henderson, Il Divo, Labrinth, Fifth Harmony, Fleur East and Collabro. Syco's television assets include two worldwide record-breaking shows: "The X Factor" and "Got Talent." In 2014, Cowell was awarded MIPCOM's Personality of the Year Award for his global transformation of popular culture through his wide-reaching TV and music enterprise.
Cowell has received the Rose d'Or Golden Jubilee Award and BAFTA's Special Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry. He has also been awarded the International Emmy Founders Award. In total, television shows created by Cowell have received 23 awards, including eight National Television Awards and five BAFTAs. In 2015, Cowell was honored with the Music Industry Trusts Award - the British music industry's most prestigious accolade - in recognition of his contributions to the industry and many charitable causes. Previous winners include Sir George Martin, Annie Lennox and Sir Elton John.
Before starting Syco Entertainment, Cowell was an established record label executive. He first appeared on television as a judge on the U.K. talent show "Pop Idol" before launching "American Idol" in 2002, where he led the judging panel for eight years. "The X Factor," created by Cowell, premiered in 2004 on ITV and has since gone on to be a national television event, airing in 186 countries and being locally commissioned in 56 territories. "The X Factor" has created more international music stars than any other television format, with artists discovered by the show having sold more than 200 million records worldwide, including 200 No. 1s and 380 Top 10 records.
As well as being a judge on "The X Factor," Cowell is also a judge on Britain's "Got Talent." The "Got Talent" format is officially the world's most successful reality TV format of all time, airing in 186 countries worldwide and holding the Guinness World Records title for the highest number of adaptations, having been commissioned in an impressive 68 territories worldwide. To date, "Britain's Got Talent" has won three National Television Awards and two Royal Television Society Awards, and "America's Got Talent" has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy. In total, more than 1 billion people tune in every year to watch "Got Talent."
In 2014, Syco Music was named the No. 1 A&R label in the U.K. for both singles and albums and is home to internationally successful artists who have sold more than 380 million records to date. Syco's artist roster includes One Direction, which sold more than 65 million records worldwide, headlined four sold-out world tours that sold more than 10 million tickets and won countless awards across the globe.
For his newest take on the singing competition, Cowell teamed up with Univision Communication to create "La Banda." The first season, which aired in fall 2015, searched the U.S. and Latin America to put together the next Latino boy band. The winning group, now known as CNCO, signed a recording contract with Sony Music Latin and Syco Music. Season 2, which aired in fall 2016, searched for the next great Latino group with boys vs. girls.
In addition to music and TV, Cowell has extended into feature films. He has produced a 3-D concert documentary about One Direction, titled "This Is Us." The film was the number one movie worldwide for the opening week box office. Additionally, Cowell and the Weinstein Co. produced "One Chance," a movie chronicling the remarkable story of "Britain's Got Talent" winner Paul Potts. More recently, Syco announced a long-term animated development deal with Animal Logic, the animation and visual effects studio behind the films "The Lego Movie" and "Happy Feet." Syco currently has a number of film projects in development.
Cowell is a devoted supporter of the Association for Children's Hospices, Against Breast Cancer, The Health Lottery, Save the Children, Comic Relief, Battersea Dogs Home, RSPCA, K9 Angels, PETA, The Hope Sanctuary Barbados and Help for Heroes. Cowell is a patron of Together for Short Lives, The Katie Piper Foundation and The Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, as well as an ambassador for Great Ormond Street Hospital. In 2015, he was made vice president of Shooting Star Chase. He has also been awarded Variety International's Humanitarian Award for his charitable work.