Simon Cowell humbled by Hollywood star: ‘Fame is the best thing in the world’

Loads of love — and London accents — filled Hollywood Boulevard on Wednesday, Aug. 22, for Simon Cowell’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star dedication. The “America’s got Talent” creator and and judge, whose credits also include launching “The X Factor” and serving nine seasons on “American Idol,” was welcomed by scores of fans  – not coincidentally, “AGT” was taping its semifinal round feet away in the Dolby theater – but it was the constellation of stars from music and beyond that made it something other than Wednesday in Hollywood.

As Cowell took the podium, he cracked, “Why did this take so long?” And offered: If anyone says fame is a bad thing, I don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s the best thing in the world.” 

There was plenty of humility too, however as Cowell, visibly moved by the ceremony, honored his late parents and thanked friends, family and colleagues from all over the entertainment world (also in attendance was NBC’s Bob Greenblatt, producer Ken Warwick and Modest Management’s Harry Magee).

Kelly Clarkson, who was crowned the first ever “Idol” winner also at the Dolby (then the Kodak), offered introductory words which reflected on the two of them having “started out together.” The singer credited Cowell’s sincerity and acute ability to find “authentic” talent. “He’s the best friend you can ever have,” she said from the podium, “He’s honest and supportive,” she continued, but paused to note that she “never got the mean [Simon] … I’m still waiting.”

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Simon Cowell gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Simon Cowell gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Simon Cowell attends a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Simon Cowell and Eric Cowell attend a ceremony honoring Cowell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Simon Cowell, Lauren Silverman, Eric Cowell and Adam Silverman attend a ceremony honoring Cowell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Simon Cowell (L) and Kelly Clarkson attend a ceremony honoring Cowell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: (L-R) Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell and Mel B attend a ceremony honoring Cowell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: (L-R) David Foster, Simon Cowell and Katharine McPhee attend a ceremony honoring Cowell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Leona Lewis and Simon Cowell attend the ceremony honoring Simon Cowell with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Ally Brooke and Simon Cowell attend the ceremony honoring Simon Cowell with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Simon Cowell and Adam Lambert attend the ceremony honoring Simon Cowell with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame held on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Louis Tomlinson (L) and Simon Cowell attend a ceremony honoring Cowell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Eric Cowell attends the ceremony honoring Simon Cowell with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Eric Cowell attends the ceremony honoring Simon Cowell with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame held on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Simon Cowell, Adam Silverman and Eric Cowell attend the ceremony honoring Simon Cowell with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame held on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Alesha Dixon, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden attend the ceremony honoring Simon Cowell with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Grace VanderWaal and Simon Cowell attend the ceremony honoring Simon Cowell with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: (L-R) Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell and Melanie Brown attend the ceremony honoring Simon Cowell with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Simon Cowell, Lauren Silverman and Eric Cowell attend a ceremony honoring Cowell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Simon Cowell, Lauren Silverman, Eric Cowell and Adam Silverman attend the ceremony honoring Simon Cowell with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: (L-R) Rob Stringer, Simon Cowell, Kelly Clarkson and Leron Gruber attend a ceremony honoring Cowell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman attend the ceremony honoring Simon Cowell with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame held on August 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
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Looking around at the Cowell disciples gathered — among those seated for the ceremony were One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, “Idol” alums Katharine McPhee (with beau David Foster) and Adam Lambert, Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brooke, Leona Lewis, Grace Vanderwaal, the members of CNCO and the cast of “AGT,” Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Mel B — Clarkson credited Cowell for, “So many careers that you’ve been the kick-start for — and they’re all so different — have come through this man over the years. He appreciates authenticity even if it’s not something he’s into. He appreciates you being yourself. That’s very rare in this industry.”

Speaking for the industry was Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer, who recalled Cowell’s start as a label executive. “He was a fledgling A&R guy who refused to have his office with the other A&R [staff], but rather he sat with the sales department because he wanted to know what was going on in the world,” said Stringer. “On a personal note,” he added, “the two of us grew up pretty much the same time in the 1970s. Britain in the ’70s was not in color, it was in black and white. So when we looked to Hollywood through its TV shows, music and movies, we could only aspire. … Growing up, this is not what either of us expected … to be here today.”

Stringer concluded with a declaration: “Simon Cowell is one of the greatest A&R executives in the music business.”

Read Cowell’s speech in it entirety below:

Before we start, I would just like to ask you: why did this take so long? I’m kidding. As Rob [Stringer, Sony Music CEO] said himself, genuinely, I was a massive fan of American television, American movies growing up. I remember the first time I came to Hollywood, and that was a long time ago, thinking it was the most magical place. And now I’m looking down at this. It is so surreal I cannot tell you. And I was thinking of writing down who do I thank. Well, I have to thank the people who gave me a start.

To Fox, for putting our show on initially. To NBC for saving our ass on “Got Talent” because we could not sell this show. And if it wasn’t for NBC, there would be no “Got Talent.” And then I have to thank all of the agents and the producers and of course the artists. I mean, without artists, we have no show and we have no label. And what I’m most proud about I think over anything else is that we’ve become friends as well as business partners.

Lauren, you’ve been my rock for the past few years. Put up with everything I put up with. My friends who’ve flown in from London. There you are. I really do appreciate it. And oh gosh. I suppose one thing I was also thinking about today was who would have got a bigger kick out of this? My mom and dad. And they’re not here, but I have a feeling they’re looking down and now I can look over to my son Eric and say: “Maybe one day you’ll get one of these as well.”

And I also want to thank all the fans who bought the records, who watched the TV shows because again, without that we wouldn’t be here. … It’s been a blast the last 18 years. If anyone says fame is a bad thing, I don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s the best thing in the world. Thank you all of you for turning up and making this happen.

32 PHOTOS
Simon Cowell through the years
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Simon Cowell through the years
Simon Cowell during Record of the Year 2001 at Hard Rock Cafe in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)
The Brit Awards 2002', Earls Court, London, Britain - 20 Feb 2002, Zoe Ball With Simon Cowell (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)
(Left to right) FOX's American Idol judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson pse peaceably at the FOX 2002 SummerTCA Tour at the Huntington Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pasadena, CA on Monday, July 22, 2002. Photo credit: Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
Simon Cowell with a Wilson's leather bag during The 2002 Teen Choice Awards - Backstage Creations Talent Retreat - Day 1 at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson at 'The Teen Choice Awards 2002' at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, Ca. Sunday, August 4, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images/FOX.
Simon Cowell during Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Christina Christian of American Idol Leave MTV's TRL - August 18, 2002 at Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. ***Exclusive*** (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Randy Jackson & Simon Cowell during 'American Idol' Season 1 Finale - Results Show - Press Room at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Paris Hilton and Simon Cowell during Scary Movie 3 Los Angeles Premiere - After Party at The W Hotel in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Simon Cowell during Simon Cowell Signs Copies of His New Book, 'I Don't Mean To Be Rude But...' at Barnes And Noble, Rockefeller Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic)
BURBANK, CA - JANUARY 19: 'American Idols' judge Simon Cowell (left) appears on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' on January 19, 2004 at the NBC Studios, in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Matt Rogers and Simon Cowell during 'American Idol' Season 3 - Top 12 Finalists Party - Inside at Pearl in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Simon Cowell during 102.7 KIIS-FM's 'Wango Tango On-Air' Concert 2004 at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, United States. (Photo by J. Shearer/WireImage)
Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul (Photo by Ray Mickshaw/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD - APRIL 20: Television host Ryan Seacrest poses with American Idol judges (L-R) Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 20, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Simon Fuller, creator of 'American Idol', Carrie Underwood, winner of 'American Idol' Season 4 and Simon Cowell (Photo by Ray Mickshaw/WireImage)
'American Idol' judge Simon Cowell and Terri Seymour (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 3313 -- Pictured: (l-r) 'American Idol' judge Randy Jackson, host Ryan Seacrest and judge Simon Cowell during an interview on February 19, 2007 (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Air Date 1/21/08 -- Episode 3480 -- Pictured: Television personality Simon Cowell during an interview on January 21, 2008 (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 22: Executive producer and TV personality Simon Cowell displays his Founders award in the press room during the 38th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton and Towers on November 22, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by George Napolitano/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Zane Malik and Niall Horan of 'One Direction' together with Simon Cowell (c) attend a photocall during the X Factor press conference at the Connaught Hotel on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4000 -- Pictured: (l-r) TV personality Simon Cowell during an interview with host Jay Leno on March 2, 2011 (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Simon Cowell attends 'The X Factor' auditions at Bank United Center on June 14, 2011 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Vallery Jean/FilmMagic)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight, (12:00 - 1:06 a.m., ET), following 'Nightline,' featuring a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 included Simon Cowell ('The X Factor') Ron Artest and Peta Murgatroyd ('Dancing with the Stars' cast off) and musical guest Gavin DeGraw. (Photo by Carin Baer/Disney XD via Getty Images)SIMON COWELL, JIMMY KIMMEL
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 19: Simon Cowell and Melanie Amaro attends 'The X Factor' press conference at CBS Television City on December 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 11: Alesha Dixon, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden attend the press launch for the new series of 'Britain's Got Talent' at ICA on April 11, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Simon Cowell arrives at 'The X Factor' finalists party held at SLS Hotel on November 4, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 24: Simon Cowell and Eric Cowell are sighted on the beach in Miami Florida. on February 24, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Dave Lee/GC Images)
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 03: Simon Cowell is seen as he gets on a Vespa for a scooter ride on March 03, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Radcliffe/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 26: Lauren Silverman and Simon Cowell attend the press night of 'I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical' at London Palladium on March 26, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Simon Cowell with his Outstanding Contribution to Entertainment award and Lauren Silverman during the Elle Style Awards 2015 at Sky Garden @ The Walkie Talkie Tower on February 24, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 21: Simon Cowell arrives at The X Factor Auditions at Wembley on July 21, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by SAV/GC Images)
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