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NBC Insider America's Got Talent

Simon Cowell Moved Back in With His Parents at 28 After This Big Financial Mistake

The AGT executive producer and Judge was on the verge of bankruptcy!

By Jackie Manno
Simon Cowell Reveals Camila Cabello Almost Didn’t Get Audition For 'X Factor’

While America's Got Talent Judge Simon Cowell's career may be wildly successful today, it took him a long time to get there. In his early days, he actually struggled quite a bit financially due to some uninformed decisions he made with money. 

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His Achilles heel? “What I didn’t learn about was credit cards,” Cowell told CNBC. "Once I started to make a little bit of money, then I just did everything a young A&R guy would do. [I] bought a Porsche, bought a house I couldn’t afford,” he added.

Things eventually got out of hand for the young music producer. 

“By the time I was 28, I was broke. I had to go back and live with my parents. I was nearly bankrupt, actually,” he said.

However, he has since obviously pulled himself out of that rut and has learned from his mistakes. “It taught me was I was rushing; I wanted everything to happen overnight,” he explained, giving advice that patience is key. 

Simon Cowell poses for a portrait

Since then, Cowell has gone on to be one of the people responsible for some of the biggest names in music, including Emmy-winning talk show host Kelly Clarkson and one of the biggest boy bands of all time, One Direction. Voice Coach Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson all auditioned for The X-Factor in 2010 when Cowell was a Judge, and the rest is history.

In an interview with NBC Insider, Cowell himself talked about how he feels now that Niall Horan is on the other side of the stage as a Coach on The VoiceCowell explained that during Horan's initial X-Factor audition, he almost didn't make it to the next round due to one Judge. 

“I had to persuade that person to put Niall through,” Cowell said. “Talk about how your life can change.”

His instincts for talent turned out to work in his favor. “It’s good,” Cowell added of Horan joining The Voice. “It’s just kind of a weird, full-circle-y, kind of amazing thing.”

Cowell's own career also could have had a much different outcome, as he almost had his own talk show. "I got to the point where they built the set and I started to get anxious and then really stressed out, and I just walked out the meeting,” he revealed to E! News. "I just said I literally couldn't do this. I just couldn't talk to people all day long. I'm not very good at talking." 

Looks like Cowell is going to stick to judging talent, something that he does very well.