The Dark Truths Behind Simon Cowell’s Record Label

By Lauren Mccluskey 1 year ago

1. Cowell sold his stake in Syco to focus on his own 'loves'

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Simon Cowell announced in 2020 that he would be stepping away from his production company label, Syco, after over two decades of dominating the music industry.  He said in a statement that he wants to prioritize the things that are truly important to him including his 7-year-old son and his girlfriend who he recently proposed to.

2. He sacked almost all of his staff

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However, in downsizing and stepping away from his production company label, Syco, according to some sources, he actually sacked almost all of his loyal staff members.  He was not worried though, he said that he believed that they would get snapped up in an instant.

3. X-Factor will not return

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As part of this mass exodus, Cowell also recently confirmed that the X-Factor, which has run in the UK and the US for a long time, will not be returning to screens in the UK.  The huge talent show, which has run for the last 17 years, has been canceled in the UK amid declining viewer numbers and fears that the show would become a joke.

4. The label has been accused of perpetuating a toxic culture

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But despite being a music and media giant for over two decades, Syco does have some of its own dark secrets including perpetuating the toxic culture in the music industry.  In fact, artists like Rebecca Ferguson, Jedwood, and members of Little Mix have spoken publically about the toxic culture in the music industry, and within Syco.

5. It has been labeled abusive

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And lots of stars who were employed and managed by Cowell's music label, Syco, have come forward to speak about the abuse and exploitation they suffered.  Cher Lloyd is one of them and after the announcement of the cancellation of X Factor, she took to TikTok to speak her mind publically.

6. Jedward has a lot to say!

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Ex X Factor contestants, Irish duo Jedward also had a lot to say about it as they took to Twitter to target Simon Cowell himself.  They outed the sheer exploitation of artists, referred to One Direction as being 'survivors', and even spoke up for Little Mix and One Direction who they claim was legally [betrayed] by the contracts from Syco.  Although, Jedward used some much more colorful language to express their fury!

7. X Factor contestants are slaves to the show

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On the same Twitter rant, Jedward also spoke about there's and other X Factor contestants' experiences on the talent show.  They revealed that contestants get paid nothing, while the allegedly 'judges' sit back and earn millions.  Contestants also had to pretend judges mentored them, as claimed by the pair on the social media platform.

8. It has been accused of dictating the artist's every move...

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Jedwards' claims were seemingly backed up by other stars with similar experiences, including Rebecca Ferguson and Cher Lloyd.  They also claimed that the artists felt like the company, along with the management company, Modest Management, also dictated their every move, even how they lived their lives!

9. ...even their relationships!

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Stars also took to social media platforms such as TikTok and Twitter to voice their experiences of how they were managed with everything, from their professional lives to their private lives.  And some stars even said that their relationships were even dictated by the label.

10. Contracts were posted to the wrong people

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The music label, Syco, also royally messed up with contracts too which was a legal nightmare.  In fact, Jedward stated that they were once posten One Direction's contract instead of their own because they were both managed by the same label, security, and accountants!

11. It exploited artists...

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In Cher Lloyd's TikTok dig which was clearly aimed at Simon Cowell and Syco, she expressed her feelings that she felt like she was exploited by her management.  She said that they took all of the money from the music that she made whilst she saw none of it herself.

12. ...and took the money they made from their music

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So understandably, the artists that had contracts with the label were particularly unhappy with how they were treated.  Especially because even though they worked for a multi-million dollar company, many of them claimed to have not made any money out of the music they created.

13. Artists were overworked

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And many of the artists were so overworked, rarely getting any time off to recharge.  After One Direction split, members said in an interview that the band was just absolutely exhausted after working non-stop without any time off for the whole time they were together.

14. There were many creative differences too

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There were so many creative differences between the label and the artists as well.  And when the artists attempted to have some of their own creative licenses on the music they were releasing, sources confirm that they were often overshadowed and unable to use their own ideas.

15. And they didn't get the credit they were due either

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Many of the artists on the Syco label claimed that they didn't get the credit that they were due either.  In fact, even if they had written some of the music or the lyrics that they sang, their names were often missed off the label in favor of the main songwriters.

16. Cowell neglected artists when their record sales dropped

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Many of the former artists on Simon Cowell's Syco music label claimed that the label and Cowell himself completely neglected them when their record sales began to dip.  And the label allegedly gave those artists who had higher record sales more attention.

16. Most artists that signed with Syco ended up leaving anyway

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So it's no wonder that most of the artists, including some of the biggest acts like Leona Lewis, James Arthur, and Ella Henderson, left the label in the end.  In fact, the artists regularly complained about their contracts with Simon Cowell due to being overworked and receiving little rewards for their hard work.

17. Cowell left too

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Interestingly, in 2005, Simon Cowell who is work $600 million, sold his shares in the company too, but only after many stars had already departed.  He did keep his executive position in the company for another 15 years after though and eventually cut all ties in 2020.

18. Little Mix's bitter departure

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X Factor winners, Little Mix departed from the label in 2018 just a few days before the release of their fifth album.  In a statement, they cited a number of clashes over their creative differences including deciding which songs they wanted to choose as their singles.

19. They had to fight for writing credits too

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Little Mix also had to fight for writing credits on their song 'Woman Like Me' which they believed should've been given to them automatically.  They felt that their names should've been on the credits alongside Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynne, and Steve Mac.

20. One Direction fans 'hate' Cowell

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One Direction's loyal followers are well-known for not being Simon Cowell's biggest fans too.  You see, Cowell made a big stink in 2016 about how difficult the band is to work with and this was even with them working to exhaustion, producing five hit albums and touring endlessly.  The cheek!

21. Leona Lewis's departure

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Leona Lewis departed from Cowell's label eight years after signing her record deal.  She told the media that she left because she felt like her career was hindered by the amount of time it took for Simon Cowell to sign off on her projects because he was too busy.

22. Gabrielle Union's court case

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Simon Cowell's name was mentioned in the court documents relating to Gabrielle Union's harassment lawsuit that she filed against America's Got Talent.  Union claimed that she was the subject of racist attacks and claimed that the show's atmosphere was completely toxic.

23. A feud with Sharon Osbourne

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Simon Cowell also had a famous feud with ex-X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne.  In fact, she famously told the press that she had feuded with Cowell because he was seriously underpaying her, and she was especially angry when she found out that Robbie Williams and his wife were paid $13 million to appear on the show!

24. Liam Payne wasn't going to stick around

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After One Direction announced that they would be taking a hiatus, Liam Payne went solo and signed a record contract with Capitol Records.  And according to sources, Cowell missed Payne's name off the list when he was talking about how loyal One Direction was.

25. The pressure was unbearable

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The artists under Cowell's Syco label often complained about being seriously overworked.  In fact, One Direction's Zayn Malik actually left the band smack bang in the middle of their 2015 world tour!  He said to the press that he was just so overwhelmed with the pressure that came with working with Simon Cowell.

26. Zayn Malik said their music was generic

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After Zayn Malik left One Direction in 2015, he told the press that he found the band's music extremely generic, perhaps referring to how the artists under the Syco label get little creative input to the music, image, and content that they created.

27. Syco dropped James Arthur

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Simon Cowell and Syco had absolutely no time for James Arthur after they famously dropped him from the label.  This happened in 2014 and the label and Cowell decided to distance themselves from the singer due to his homophobic comments and other issues.  But they did later sign him back up, according to the press.

28. Mel B got him back

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Cowell has slated other celebrities brutally in the past, and Mel B seems to have bared the brunt of his cruel remarks.  He commented on and made jokes about her marriage that broke down.  But she threw a glass of water over him on air before storming offset!

29. Rebecca Ferguson's efforts

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Rebecca Ferguson has recently taken to social media and has even contacted the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Secretary to call for much better protection for artists in this increasingly toxic culture within the music industry.  And she didn't stop there either, in fact, she even contacted Ofcom and a major UK broadcaster to implore them to conduct an investigation into the industry.

30. Anyone who signed with Syco ended up hating Cowell

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Despite artists feeling like they had hit big, either by winning The X Factor or catching the attention of the huge media mogul himself, the truth is, many of them end up leaving the label, and, ultimately, it seems that many of the former artists end up despising Cowell in the end.

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