Susan Boyle teaches Simon Cowell age lessons
Simon Cowell says watching Susan Boyle audition for 'Britain's Got Talent' in 2009 made him realise he should never have an age limit on his talent shows.
Simon Cowell says Susan Boyle taught him never to make assumptions about people's ages.
The music mogul - who is about to launch 'The X Factor' in the US - admitted he had been "guilty" of judging people by how old they were but his opinions changed after the 49-year-old singing sensation blew him away with her audition for 'Britain's Got Talent' in 2009.
He said: "You just can't put an age cap on talent. With Susan Boyle, who would have thought this little lady living on her own in Scotland would go on to sell nearly 20 million records? It's just typical of the record business saying that you have to look this way or whatever.
"I was guilty of that. She taught me a huge lesson that I have to be more open-minded. I think the American audience know what talent is and I don't think it matters if you're in your 40s, 50s, 30s or 14 years old. If you have it, you have it. You only have to look at Madonna. She's still one of the most influential artists in the world. It doesn't matter how old she is."
As well as refusing to put an age limit on contestants, Simon is to allow children as young as 12 to audition for the US version of 'The X Factor' as he thinks times are changing.
Speaking at a press conference, he added: "I went on record years ago saying I think it's wrong to have people around this age doing it and now I think times have changed, you have to make a case-by-case decision based on them as a person and whether they're capable of doing this kind of thing, what their parental support is like."
Auditions for 'X Factor USA' kick off March 27 in Los Angeles.