Simon Cowell regrets not owning the name One Direction: 'I'll buy it back from you'

The "America's Got Talent" host reveals what advice he gave the band.

Simon Cowell just gets a feeling.

The America's Got Talent judge said that's how he chooses to support an act, such as One Direction, the phenomenally successful boy band that formed out of solo contestants on the British show The X Factor in 2010. Once they were a boy band, the contestants Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson signed with Cowell's then-record label, Syco Music.

"The one thing I regret is I should have kept the name," Cowell told host Steven Bartlett on Sunday's episode of The Diary of a CEO podcast. "I should have owned the name."

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<p>Trae Patton/NBC via Getty</p> Simon Cowell

Trae Patton/NBC via Getty

Simon Cowell

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As they're often called by their many fans, 1D went on to sell an estimated 70 million records worldwide and have their songs streamed more than 21 billion times, according to a 2020 report from the BBC. But Malik left in 2015, and the rest of the members went on hiatus the following year.

Cowell noted that they still own the name of their group.

"If one of the band members, for whatever reason, say they don't want to tour, it can stop the others [from] touring. So, if it was me who owned the name, it wouldn't be a problem," Cowell said. "I can be very naive at times, and that was me being very, very naive. So, next time, that will be part of the deal. I have to own the name. They can still make most of the money, but I need to own the name."

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<p>Kevin Kane/Getty</p> One Direction performs in 2012

Kevin Kane/Getty

One Direction performs in 2012

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Cowell noted that he "could have made an animation or whatever."

Then, he made a verbal offer to the guys, who are each pursuing solo careers: "If you're listening, I'll buy it back from you."

Cowell's now on a mission to find a new boy band, which will be documented in an upcoming reality series.

"The only way I know to put a band together," Cowell said, "is somebody has to audition them."

Picking exactly the right people will be the key.

With One Direction, he said, "they all had great personalities" and "they all were interesting people."

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.