MUMBAI: On Tuesday, The X Factor judge Simon Cowell was presented with the Personality of the Year at the 2014 Marché International des Contenus Audiovisuels (MIPCOM) in Cannes.
During his acceptance speech, teary eyed Cowell expressed his gratitude towards the birth of his son, Eric. To the audience that had assembled at the Carlton Hotel ballroom, Cowell said, "This whole year, starting with Eric, has just been glorious. He changed my whole life for the better."
Cowell was honoured for changing both the music and the TV industries when he reinvented the talent show and format formula a decade ago. He got emotional on stage describing how he wished that his late father, also named Eric, was there to see him accept the award.
Cowell further went on to say that he was humbled by the award. Also by being able to make TV, a feat that remained out of his reach when was growing out. The X Factor UK winner Ella Henderson opened the evening's event by singing an acoustic version of her number one British chart topper ‘Ghost' as well as some new songs from her new album, which released the previous day.
The audience was also presented with a tribute video montage with views of famous personalities on Cowell's achievements in the music industry. From ex-CNN host Piers Morgan to rock musician Gene Simmons to Rupert Murdoch to Harvey Weinstein to Oprah Winfrey to Ryan Seacrest, everyone has something optimistic to say about Cowell.
Even US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke only well about the former American Idol judge. "What you may not have intact, you certainly have in talent," said the British leader. Oprah Winfrey praised Cowell's candidness as a judge by saying, "He is a master because he has turned honesty into an art form."
The MIPCOM team and tribute also recognised his philanthropic and charitable work in Kenya, Haiti and on behalf of animals and animal rights' charities.