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Simon Cowell is a record producer and television personality known for his scathing critical remarks as a judge on the television show, "American Idol."
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In 2011, Cowell helped import his hit British series The X Factor to America. The show is a talent search that awards a $5 million recording contract to the winner. Cowell even gave up his judging duties on American Idol to sit front and center at The X Factor auditions. Television viewers loved this competition, which proved to be a success in the ratings. Cowell's fellow judges included legendary recording executive L.A. Reid,
The X Factor kicked off its second season in September 2012 with a few line-up changes. Pop star Britney Spears and actress-singer Demi Levato joined the show as judges, replacing Abdul and Scherzinger.
In 2004, Entertainment Weekly named Simon Cowell as one of the Top Entertainers of the Year. In 2006, he renewed his contract with American Idol for five more seasons; the deal gave him a yearly salary of $40 million. That same year, he was named Variety's UK Personality of the Year.
In 2007, Cowell earned the No. 3 slot on the Forbes TV Faces List, and No. 21 on Forbes' Celebrity 100 Power List. He also created an American Idol spin-off, Idol Gives Back, a two-episode special that helped to provide aid to children in Africa and the American poor. The show raised $76 million for charity.
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