Simon Cowell has described receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame as “surreal”.
The Britain’s Got Talent and X Factor judge was honoured for his services to television during a ceremony in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Cowell, 58, was joined by his partner, Lauren Silverman, and their four-year-old son, Eric, as well as celebrities whose careers he had helped launch, including singer Leona Lewis and One Direction star Louis Tomlinson.
Accepting the honour, music mogul Cowell, who has launched successful TV talent shows in both the UK and US, said: “I was a massive fan of American television, American movies, when I was growing up. I remember the first time I came to Hollywood, a long time ago and thinking it was the most magical place. And now I’m looking down at this, it’s so surreal.
“Lauren, you have been my rock over the last few years. And one thing I was thinking about today was who would have got the biggest kick out of this and it’s my mum and dad, and they are not here.
“I have a feeling they are looking down. And now I look over to my son, Eric, and say, ‘maybe one day you will get one of these as well’.”
Cowell, whose star is number 2,642 on the Walk Of Fame, first appeared on TV as a judge on talent show Pop Idol which began in 2001.
He launched American Idol a year later before creating The X Factor in 2004. The show has become a worldwide success and has launched the careers of artists including Fifth Harmony, One Direction and Little Mix.
Artists discovered by Cowell’s TV shows have sold more than 500 million records worldwide, according to the Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce, the body in charge of the Walk Of Fame
Cowell added: “It’s been a blast, the last 18 years. And if anyone says fame is a bad thing, I don’t know what they are talking about because it’s the best thing in the world.”
He was introduced to the stage by US singer Kelly Clarkson, whose career was launched by winning the first ever American Idol in 2002.
The 36-year-old joked she was one of the few artists Cowell had never been rude to, before praising him for “appreciating authenticity”.