On Nov. 2, 2015, Simon Cowell received the Music Industry Trusts Award, at the 24th annual ceremony, which was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Several celebrities were in attendance, including many from “The X Factor” U.K. world, such as former contestants One Direction, Olly Murs, Leona Lewis, Fleur East and Ben Haenow and current “X Factor” U.K. judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and former “X Factor” U.K. judge Louis Walsh. Former “X Factor” Australia judge Natalie Imbruglia was also there, as well as “X Factor” U.K. co-host Caroline Flack and “Xtra Factor” co-hosts Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom. Murs, Haenow, Lewis, Il Divo and Labrinth performed at the gala event, which benefited Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Trust. Murs, Haenow, Il Divo and Labrinth are all signed to Cowell’s Syco Music, while Lewis was signed to the label from 2006 to 2013.
One Direction, the biggest music act worldwide to emerge from “The X Factor,” presented Cowell with the award, which was given in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the music and entertainment industry and many charitable causes. One Direction came in third place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010. Cowell was the group’s mentor on the show, and he signed One Direction to Syco. One Direction’s five original members (Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik) originally auditioned for “The X Factor” U.K. as solo singers but were put together in the group by Cowell and other “X Factor” decision makers. Malik left One Direction in March 2015. One Direction, which is now a quartet, announced that the group is going on hiatus as of March 2016.
In a short speech before presenting the award to Cowell, One Direction’s Payne said, “We’re truly honored to present this award to our boss Simon Cowell for the amazing work he’s done throughout the industry over the years. When we started on ‘X Factor,’ we never imagined how Simon would transform our lives. We’ve gotten to travel the world doing something we love for the past five years. It’s been the most amazing journey, so thank you so much.”
One Direction’s Tomlinson added, “Now, we can only speak from personal experience, but Simon, you’ve been incredible to work with. So humble, so lovely, so approachable at all times. So we thank you for that.”
In accepting the award, Cowell said, “Thank you, guys, for showing the music business is a really nice business. It’s been a really great, fun night. So thank you for our welcome and your sense of humor, so enjoy the night.”
Other celebrities who attended the event included songwriter (and former “Pop Idol” judge) Pete Waterman, Sinitta, Melanie Chisholm, Katie Piper and Stephen Mulhern. Cowell attended the event with girlfriend Lauren Silverman, the mother of his son, Eric.
Cowell is a longtime entertainment mogul and TV talent-show judge. He created “The X Factor” in 2004 and the “Got Talent” franchise in 2006. He is set to become a judge on “America’s Got Talent” in 2016. Until the forseeable future, he will continue to be a judge on “The X Factor” U.K. and “Britain’s Got Talent.”