Simon Cowell had six hours of surgery after a fall from a bike caused him to break his back in a number of places.
The X Factor supremo, 60, fell from a new electric bike he was testing at his house in Malibu.
He was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery on Saturday night, which involved a number of procedures including having a metal rod put in his back.
Cowell is recovering in hospital now and it is understood that he will continue to do so for a few days.
A source said that while it is a bad injury, doctors said he had been very lucky.
The entertainment boss has a six-year-old son, Eric, with his partner Lauren Silverman – and it is understood Eric was with his father at the time.
A spokeswoman for Cowell said: "Simon has broken his back in a number of places in a fall from his bike whilst testing a new electric bike in the courtyard of his home in Malibu with his family."
Simon Cowell and Terry Crews at the America's Got Talent Season 15 Kickoff Red Carpet at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 4, 2020 in Pasadena, CA (Photo by Katrina Jordan/Sipa USA)
Anthony McPartlin, David Walliams Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Declan Donnelly attend the Britain's Got Talent Auditions Photocall at the London Palladium. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Simon Cowell (left) and David Walliams (right), arrive at the Britain's Got Talent photocall at The Lowry, Manchester. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 5, 2020. See PA story SHOWBIZ BGT. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Simon Cowell (right) and Lauren Silverman attending the ITV Palooza held at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London.
Prince Charles meets Simon Cowell and Susan Boyle at the 2010 Pride of Britain Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
Pop Idol judges (from left) Simon Cowell, Pete Waterman, Nicki Chapman and Neil Fox, pose with show hosts Ant and Dec (Anthony McPartlin & Declan Donnelly) during a press conference at Thames TV in London, to launch a new series of Pop Idol.
Pop Idol judges (from left) Neil 'Dr' Fox, Simon Cowell, Nicki Chapman and Pete Waterman, during a photocall in London, to launch Pop Idol, ITV's Nationwide Search for a solo superstar.
Frank Skinnerjokes with Simon Cowell during the Mastercard 2002 Brit Awards at Earls Court 2 in London.
Judges Louis Walsh (top row second from left) and Simon Cowell (bottom right) with the finalists of the X Factor in London.
Presenter of the show, DJ Neil Fox (left) and guest Simon Cowell announce the Christmas Number One single, "Mad World" by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews, on the Hit 40 UK chart show, at Hit 40 UK studio in Leicester Square, central London.
Ant and Dec, little Ant and Dec and Simon Cowell at The National TV Awards, the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Actor James Nesbitt (L) with Pop Idol judges from (L-R) Simon Cowell, Nicki Chapman and Pete Waterman with their TV entertainment programme of the award during the 2002 TRIC (Television & Radio Industries Club) Awards in London. *at the Le Meridien Grosvenor House Hotel.
Fom left to right: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh at the 2008 National Television Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7.
Cheryl Cole, Matt Cardle and Simon Cowell backstage at the National Television Awards 2010, the O2 Arena, North Greenwich, London.
Simon Cowell with One Direction's (L-R) Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Liam Payne at the World Premiere of One Direction: This Is Us, at the Empire Leicester Square, London.
Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Brian Friedman (left to right) during the National Television Awards 2010, at the 02 Arena, London.
Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell look on as Liam Payne collects his award for One Direction on stage at the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena, London.
Bruno Tonioli, Jackie St. Clair and Simon Cowell cheers on the riders in the Royal Hunt Cup Heritage Handicap from the stands with Bruno Tonioli (left) and Jackie St Clair at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire
Guests including Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden, Jackie St Claire, Sinitta Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Brian Friedman during the National Television Awards 2010, at the 02 Arena, London.
Television mogul Simon Cowell poses with presenters Ant McPartlin (L) and Dec Donnelly after receiving the British Academy Television Awards Special Award at the Palladium Theatre in London June 6, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT PROFILE SOCIETY)
X Factor Judges: Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue and Dermot O'Leary in the press room at the 2007 National Televsision Awards (NTA's) at the Royal Albert Hall, west London.
Television producer Simon Cowell poses with Lauren Silverman, holding his award for "outstanding contribution to entertainment", at the Elle Style Awards in London February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Paul Hackett (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
"American Idol" judges Simon Cowell (L), Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson (R), pose as they arrive for a party for the finalists in the FOX network reality television series "American Idol" celebrating their accomplishments in West Hollywood, California March 10, 2004. The finalists will compete against each with their singing ability to win a major recording contract. REUTERS/Fred Prouser PP04030047 FP/CRB
Donald Trump (L) and Simon Cowell present an Emmy during the 56th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, September 19, 2004. The two were presenting the Emmy best supporting actress in a comedy series. Trump is host of the reality show "The Apprentice" and Cowell is a judge on the reality series "American Idol." REUTERS/Robert Galbraith JM
Host Ryan Seacrest and judge Simon Cowell of the hit television series 'American Idol' arrive at Nickelodeon's 18th annual Kids' Choice Awards at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, April 2, 2005. REUTERS/Michael Buckner MB
"American Idol" judges Paula Abdul and Simon Calwell pose with Cowell's girlfriend at Kids' Choice Awards in Los Angles, California. Judges from the "American Idol" television reality series (L-R) Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and his girlfriend Terri Seymour pose backstage after "American Idol" won the favourite television show award at 18th annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles April 2, 2005. The show honours children's favourite film, television and music stars and aired live on the Nickelodeon cable channel. REUTERS/Jim Ruymen
"American Idol" judges Randy Jackson Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell are pictured during a break in the show at the Kodak Theatre. "American Idol" judges Randy Jackson (L), Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell are pictured during a break in the show at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, May 24, 2005. Viewers can cast votes for finalists Bo Bice of Helena, Alabama, or Carrie Underwood of Checotah, Oklahoma, to decide the new "American Idol," which will will be announced in a two-hour finale Wednesday night. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello
"American Idol" judges Randy Jackson (L) and Paula Abdul (R) dance as fellow judge Simon Cowell looks on at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, May 23, 2006. The winner of "American Idol" will be announced in a televised finale on Wednesday night, when an expected 50 million telephone and text-message ballots have been tabulated. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello
Nicole Scherzinger (L to R), Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Antonio Reid attend the world premiere of the television series "The X Factor" at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California September 14, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Judge Simon Cowell shows off his hands after leaving his handprints in cement at the season two premiere of the television series "The X Factor" at Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California September 11, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Judges (from L-R) L.A. Reid, Demi Lovato, Britney Spears and Simon Cowell pose after leaving their handprints and signatures in cement at the season two premiere of the television series "The X Factor" at Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California September 11, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Judges Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell attend a panel for the television show "America's Got Talent" during the NBCUniversal summer press day in Westlake Village, California April 1, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
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She said he was taken to hospital where he was operated on overnight, adding: "He's under observation and is doing fine."
Just last month it emerged that Cowell has bought Sony Music Entertainment's stake in TV programmes including Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor.
The move sees the music mogul gain ownership of all the international versions of The X Factor and Got Talent programmes.
The Got Talent format airs in 76 markets, while The X Factor is broadcast in more than 130 territories.
Sony Music's share of the venture has transferred to Syco Entertainment, a company solely owned by Cowell.
Filming on the next stage of this year's Britain's Got Talent has been postponed because of the coronavirus crisis, but ITV has said it hopes to continue the series later this year.