X Factor 2012: Generous Simon Cowell tells One Direction lads “Spend what you like!”
One Direction singers Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan of course have The X Factor and Simon Cowell to thank for their global success and for making them five of the wealthiest teenagers in the world…
And today, Harry’s hometown friend Will Sweeny has told The People that Simon is more than generous with his protégés and has told them, “Spend what you like.”
Putting his money where his mouth is, it’s even been rumoured that Simon bought Harry a flat in London and a car.
1D are of course signed to Simon’s record company SyCo, and as we reported yesterday, the last year, the lads have earned a whopping £32million and it’s expected they’ll double that figure next year…
Of Simon and his generosity, Will said, “Harry says Simon is an absolute gentleman. He calls him the boss.”
He added, “In real life Simon is very different to his on-screen persona, apparently. He’s very down to earth and generous.
“Harry definitely likes him a lot. Simon just says, ‘Spend what you like.’
“He lets them buy what they want. I think Simon even bought Harry his place in London and is going to buy him a car.
“At one stage his house was full of free gifts he’d been sent – Adidas trainers,Ray-Bans, Nikes, Ralph Lauren jumpers.
“It was ridiculous. He’s had so much stuff for free. It looked like he was extravagant but he wasn’t.
“Harry gets sent so much stuff he doesn’t spend any of his money. He doesn’t see Simon as much as he used to but he understands Simon is busy.
“They talk on the phone a lot and I think he has invited the boys to go on his yacht when they get some time off.”
However, Will – who used to be in a band with Harry called White Eskimo – revealed that Harry didn’t ever set out to be a singer.
He said, “When I first asked him to join the band, Harry didn’t think he could sing. He didn’t want to stand up on stage.
“We asked him if he’d sing and he said, ‘No, no. I can’t sing. I’m not going to sing.’
“But he agreed he’d give it a go after a lot of persuasion and that was that. I think White Eskimo definitely helped him realise he could sing and that he could be a frontman.
“Being in the band really helped his confidence because people used to say he was a really good singer.
“There was a born performer in there. He just had to find it. When his confidence grew he was amazing. The crowd loved him, especially when he went round high-fiving the audience, that sort of thing.
“The X Factor was never anything he showed interest in. His mum applied for him without him knowing.
“So he came up to us one day and just said, ‘My mum’s entered me for the X Factor so I’m going to go do it.’
“We were like, ‘Cool, go do it. See how far you can get.’ I went to the first ever audition with Harry.
“I think it’s incredible what Harry’s achieved. I couldn’t be happier for him. We used to watch the X Factor and Pop Idol together and we used to wonder what it would be like to be them.
“But when one of your best friends goes off and becomes one of those people it’s so unbelievable.”
Will concluded, “White Eskimo are still going and we are doing pretty well now [but] musically we’re a lot different from One Direction.
“We’re more rock, a mix between Blink 182 and Green Day. It’s the stuff me and Harry loved and grew up to.”