Simon Cowell Talks Bankruptcy & Secret To Being Self-Made Millionaire

Simon Cowell - The Ellen Show

While America’s Got Talent judge, Simon Cowell has made a significant name for himself, he hasn’t always been rich. He shares a story about how he was nearly bankrupt before getting his big break that made him the millionaire he is now.

Simon Cowell’s Rags To Riches Story

Currently, Simon Cowell is a common household name after his appearance as a judge on America’s Got Talent since 2016. But before that, he was also on Pop Idol, American Idol, The X-Factor, and Britain’s Got Talent. While he has become the difficult-to-impress judge over the years, he hasn’t had it easy along the way. Although he is currently a self-made millionaire, he has a few secrets about what it takes to get there. Now his career keeps him busy and in the spotlight, but there was a point in his life when he was facing bankruptcy.

Simon Cowell - AGT
Simon Cowell – AGT

Simon Cowell Talks Bankruptcy & Secret To Being Self-Made Millionaire

Before aligning with the Guinness World Record recognized Most Successful Reality TV Format, Simon Cowell was at a low point. Together with Iain Burton, they formed Fanfare Records. Their company sold exercise videos and music from different acts. For instance, they used music from artists like the Italian orchestra, Rondò Veneziano. In the 1980s, Simon also had success with Stock Aitken Waterman which produced many hits.

Sadly, the company took a dive leaving life a bit grime for Simon. Along with it, Simon lost his Porsche to help cover the cost. Likewise, he was on the brink of bankruptcy since the company was very behind on paying out production and royalties. Although he was at a very low point, he didn’t give up. He pulled himself back up by moving back home with his parents and taking a job with BMG Records. Simon became an artist and repertoire consultant with BMG which allowed him to be able to set up S Records.

Landing The Right Gig

After forming S Records, Simon Cowell took a position as the Pop Idol judge. Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller, the Spice Girls creator, were the brains and creators behind the new show. They were able to land a contract with ITV Controller of Entertainment. Following the first season of Pop Idol, S Records signed two of the top artists, Will Young and Gareth Gates. Both went on to have hit music in the UK. It was aired from 2001 to 2003, at which point it came to an end to make room for other big TV plans.

But Simon Cowell entered the Pop Idol venture with his first million already under his belt. Once S Records was established they signed Robson & Jerome an English pop duo active in the mid-1990s that attributed their success to Simon. Likewise, Simon had other successful groups such as Five, Westlife, and Teletubbies.

One Door Closes To Open Another Big Opportunity For Simon Cowell

When Pop Idol ran its course, Simon Cowell opted to end it with the start of the international Idol franchise. Simon was a judge for American Idol from 2002-2011 when Steven Tyler took over for him. He also worked with big names Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson during that time. Likewise, he started The X-Factor in 2004 in the UK alongside Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh. Both Idol and The X-Factor were massively successful. Artists such as Kelly Clarkson and One Direction are products of these competitions.

Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Simon Cowell - AGT
Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Simon Cowell – AGT

He Climbed From His Low Point To Millions

As of 2019, Simon Cowell was listed as one of the wealthiest people in the UK. Appearing on The Sunday Times Rich List, his net worth was $492 (£385) million at that time. This was accomplished with his record label Syco Entertainment. This company boasts many major pop artists, such as One Direction, Little Mix, and Camila Cabello. Although Simon wasn’t born into wealth, his dad helped him get a job in the mail room at EMI Music Publishing and he has run with it ever since. Pulling himself up by his bootstraps, Simon has many secrets about being successful. But the number one lesson is to keep going even when things may seem bleak.

But Simon Cowell’s life has been touched over and over by wonderful people along his difficult journey. Simon knows he is changing lives when he runs into artists like Nightbirde who remind him, “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore for you to decide to be happy.”

What do you think about Simon Cowell’s journey to fame? What is your favorite show you have seen Simon? Drop your comments below.

Bonnie Kaiser-Gambill

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