Before “American Idol” debuted, television personality and music entrepreneur Simon Cowell held a number of positions in the music business. According to the biography on his website, Cowell was raised in the affluent Elstree district and had “illustrious neighbors from the film business” all around him. He started working in the music industry as a runner for Elstree Studios, after which he spent some time at EMI. Cowell and Iain Burton later co-founded Fanfare Records, and during the 1980s, the label earned hit tunes from performers like Sinitta.
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Cowell began his career on television as a judge on the British singing competition series “Pop Idol,” which ran from 2001 to 2003.
. In a 2011 “Oprah’s Master Class” podcast interview, Cowell recalled how this role proved to be a life-changing one. “It did become an overnight success,” Cowell said of the “Pop Idol” premiere, before adding that the series was sold within just two minutes when pitched to TV executives. The show was created by Simon Fuller, who decided to next pitch “Pop
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Idol” in the United States with the new title of “American Idol.” Cowell joined Fuller for this fated venture, which resulted in a prosperous TV role that lasted nearly a decade.