He said: "I find the whole Beyonce thing really mystifying. She's not sexy, she hasn't got a great body and she's not a great singer." The extraordinary statement in Esquire magazine three years ago prompted the singer's tough producer father, Matthew Knowles, to say: "Simon wouldn't know a hit song, image or talent if it hit him in the face."
Meanwhile, producers of X Factor pointed out that only a really big star could help trump the ratings of the show and the only performer with that kind of pulling power was Beyonce. Therefore, as long as two months ago, Cowell began his campaign to make amends with Beyonce.
"It's debatable whether she'd have agreed to the X Factor at all if she didn't have a CD to promote," the Daily Express quoted a source, as saying. "There's been bad blood between her entire family and Cowell ever since his ridiculous rant in Esquire. Believe me, it took a lot of apologising on his part to swing it. At the end of the day, she realised she has a big fan base in Britain. She's appearing for them, not for Simon Cowell," the source added.