Simon Cowell was born October 7, 1959, in East Sussex, England. The music executive and television producer is best known in the U.S. for being a judge on the hit reality show American Idol. During his tenure on the Idol from 2002 to 2010, he was known as the picky, blunt judge on the panel. Simon started his career in the music industry as an assistant at A&R, then moved his way up to music publishing. He eventually helped create Fanfare Records with Iain Burton. In 2004, he signed on as a judge on The X Factor, a spinoff of the British reality show Pop Idol. He is also the executive producer of America’s Got Talent, another reality competition that is open to any and all performing acts. Simon started dating longtime friend Terri Seymour in 2002. Six years later, the couple broke up. In 2010, he proposed to Mezhgan Hussainy, a makeup artist for American Idol.
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