Simon Cowell turns 58 on Oct. 8, 2017. Before he's showered with birthday presents on his big day, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at all the gifts he's given us over the years. Keep reading to get the scoop on the stars who have emerged from the super-producer's musical empire …
Carrie Underwood, who won the fourth season of "American Idol" in 2005, is by far the most successful artist who ever competed on the reality TV show. Her debut album, "Some Hearts," went eight-times platinum, and she's won seven Grammys over the years. (We're eternally grateful to you, Simon, for "Before He Cheats.")
During the seventh season of the British version of "The X Factor" in 2010, Simon Cowell encouraged five rejected solo artists — Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles — to band together to compete as a group. Thus One Direction was born. Though they only placed third on the show, the boy band went on to become one of the most successful pop groups in the history of music — and an undeniable pop culture force!
Kelly Clarkson has been one of the biggest names in music since 2002, when she won the first season of "American Idol." Since then, she's released seven studio albums (her eighth is due on Oct. 27, 2017) and taken home three Grammys.
In 2012, five female singers (Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane, Camila Cabello and Lauren Jauregui) who failed to progress as solo artists during the second season of the American version of "The X Factor" took Simon Cowell's advice and banded together to form Fifth Harmony. The fivesome placed third in the competition but went on to become one of the most successful girl groups since the Spice Girls!
Jennifer Hudson, who came in seventh on the third season of "American Idol" in 2004, hasn't been as successful in the music industry as some of her peers, though she's released three albums and won a Grammy in 2009 for her debut studio album. Instead, J.Hud used her "AI" fame to launch a super-successful career in Hollywood. She won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her performance in "Dreamgirls" in 2007 and starred in the Tony-winning Broadway revival of "The Color Purple."
One of Simon Cowell's greatest gifts to music is Susan Boyle, who emerged during the third season of "Britain's Got Talent" in 2008. The Scottish singer — who's been called "The Woman Who Shut Up Simon Cowell" — has the voice of an angel! Thanks, Simon.
Simon Cowell gave us Leona Lewis — and her amazing debut single "Bleeding Love" — after she won the third season of the British version of "The X Factor" in 2006. Her hit track topped the Billboard Hot 100, went platinum four times in the United States and earned two Grammy nominations.
Terry Fator is a staple of the Las Vegas entertainment scene, but that hasn't always been the case. The ventriloquist owes his mainstream success to Simon Cowell and a little show he created: "America's Got Talent." The comedian won the second season of the show in 2007 and has been tickling our funny bone ever since!
A year after Simon Cowell helped form One Direction on the seventh season of the British version of "The X Factor," he worked his magic on four female singers (Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson and Jade Thirlwall) who'd failed to progress in the competition as solo artists. The foursome became the girl group Little Mix — and went on to win Season 8 in 2011!
Jackie Evancho came in second during the fifth season of "America's Got Talent" in 2010, but the young classical singer has been on top ever since. All six of the studio albums she's released have reached No. 1 on Billboard's Top Classical Albums chart, and she even performed as part of Donald Trump's inauguration concert in early 2017.
Lindsey Stirling brought violin choreography to the masses — thank goodness! Though she only made it to the quarter finals on the fifth season of "America's Got Talent" in 2010, the musician is one of our all-time favorite artists to ever compete on the show. She's since released four albums and won two Billboard Music Awards.
She got robbed! Fans were appalled when Rachel Crow, who competed on Simon Cowell's team, got eliminated early in the competition during the first season of the American version of "The X Factor." (Judge Nicole Scherzinger even received death threats over the surprise elimination.) The young singer failed to make an impact when she released a five-track self-titled EP in 2012, but we're far from sorry for her! Rachel transitioned to acting and earned raves for her performance in the indie movie "Deidra & Laney Rob a Train" when it debuted during Sundance in 2017. Expect to see A LOT more from her in the future!