From Music Producer to TV Star — Check Out Simon Cowell’s Transformation Through the Years

Way back in 2002, a music producer named Simon Cowell found himself at the end of a judges panel handing harsh feedback to thousands of hopefuls in a little show known as American Idol. But even though that program made him a star, Simon’s road to success started way before that when he used to work in the mailroom at his father’s company, EMI Music Publishing.

While there, the X Factor judge took his work seriously and he used the connections he made at the company to start his own record label called E&S Music. After working there for a few years, Simon quit and started the next chapter in his life. In the ’90s, the entrepreneur restarted his career by creating hit songs for the Power Rangers franchise, the World Wrestling Federation and more.

It was those records that put him on the map, and by 2001, everyone knew who he was. Simon landed a job as one of the judges in the British TV reality show Pop Idol. Then one year later, he moved overseas and broke hundreds of singers’ hearts on American Idol. But even though he gave tough feedback, fans admired the TV personality for his honesty.

Now, Simon is currently a judge on America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent and the X Factor. He’s also a proud dad to his son, Eric Cowell, and a great boyfriend to his girlfriend, Lauren Silverman, whom he’s been dating since 2013.

“I think Simon has changed me. He makes me laugh all the time. I can’t get angry with him because when I’m trying to be cross he just makes me laugh,” Lauren previously gushed to Hello! magazine. “I feel I learn so much from him, which is incredibly inspiring. He’s very talented.” As for how the pair feel about their kid, Eric, well, an insider told Closer Weekly the snarky TV judge is “madly in love with his son.

“He’ll openly tell his friends his intense feelings he has for Eric. He’s turned into a big softie with him.” Even though the U.K. native is one of the most notable men on TV, his young child has no idea.

“He’s very funny. I was with him yesterday and he said, ‘Daddy, how come everybody smiles at you?’” Simon recalled to Us Weekly. “And I went, ‘No, it’s you! They all know your name.’ I said, ‘From the minute you were born, for some reason, everybody knew your first name.’ He went, ‘Really?’ I said, ‘Yeah! They knew your name.’ So I said, ‘It’s you.’”

This is proof that Simon has become nicer throughout the last decade.

Scroll on down below to see how Simon has changed through the years!