Here is the story:
51-year-old, Susan Boyle, represents talent overcoming adversity and poverty. Her modest and poor lifestyle in her home town Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland brought about a “barren story” for this now famous singer. On April 11, 2009, Boyle appeared as a contestant on the TV program Britain’s Got Talent. Dressed in modest homely attire, she was given immediate unfavorable reviews as she stood before the judges. The audience laughed at her as she told the judges she aspired to be “as successful as Elaine Paige”. While Singing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, she startled the audience with her voice. After she finished singing, Boyle was regarded as “a big surprise.”
Susan Boyle Youtube & Rise to Fame:
This amateur vocalist became an overnight sensation. Websites such as Youtube, Twitter and Facebook made Boyle rise to fame easier. The following day after the performance, Digg and Reddit featured articles about her performance on their websites and the Youtube video gained immediate popularity among readers. The performance video was viewed by nearly 2.5 million people on Youtube in the first three days. Her video set online records, after being viewed nearly 66 million times in one week. Wikipedia reported nearly half a million page views of her biographical article. 20 different websites reported a total of 103 million video views within nine days. The Los Angeles Times report that her popularity on Youtube may have been due to the emotion captured from the audience and judges, all packed into a short clip; which ultimately, made it “perfect for the internet”.
She became an instant sensation, was featured in articles around the world, and the ABC News Entertainment section headlined Boyle as “The Woman Who Shut Up Simon Cowell”. Within one week of her performance, she was interviewed on STV’s The Five Thirty Show, CBS’s Early Show, Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, Fox’s America’s Newsroom, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
In July 2010, Boyle held her own competition called Susan’s Search, the winner of the competition got to sing with her on her new Christmas album, entitled “The Gift”. Amber Stassi, mother of three, was the winner of Susan’s ‘You Tube competition, ‘Susan’s Search.’ Steve Mac, who helped produce her album said, “She (Boyle) doesn’t’ want to sing anything that hasn’t happened to her or she can’t relate to.” That holiday season, Boyle became one of only three acts in the UK and US to top both charts in the same year.
Susan Boyle I Dreamed A Dream Musical:
During an interview, Boyle said if there was a film of her life, she’d like Elaine C. Smith to play her. After reading the interview, Michael Harrison, who worked closely with Smith on various stage productions, approached the actress and Boyle with the idea for a musical. Harrison stated that this production “has all the qualities of a fairytale, but with the added bonus of being absolutely true.” I dreamed a Dream, opened on March 27th with fans from all over the world coming to the Theatre Royal in Newcastle for the opening week. The performance is directed by Ed Curtis and choreographed by Nick Winston. Elaine C Smith plays Susan Boyle, and Boyle herself sings two songs at the end of most performances. She got 5 star reviews from WhatsOnStage.com, writing “This production is a standalone show that should still play in audiences long after Elaine C. Smith and Susan Boyle have left. In fact it deserves to become recognized as the Scottish equivalent to Blood Brothers, so strong are the production values. There is no doubting I Dreamed A Dream is one of the musical events of the year.”
She reflects on her life and childhood dreams in the I Dreamed a Dream musical. The musical tells the story of Boyle’s life, from her birth up to the present day. The musical will continue it’s tour in Melborne, Australia at Her Majesty’s Theatre on May 31, 2013 and Perth at the Crown Theatre in August of 2013. The musical is based on the life of Boyle and her 2010 autobiography, “The Woman I Was Born to Be”. Susan Boyle s autobiography, takes a detailed look at her unsuspecting fairy-tale rags to riches story. The biography explores her humble West Lothian background, bullying, toughest challenges and the memory’s of her youth.
Early in her life, she took singing lessons from voice coach Fred O’Neil and sang in choirs at her local Catholic church. She liked to perform karaoke at pubs in and around her village. In 1999, she used all her savings to pay for a professionally recorded demo track that she sent to record companies, radio talent competitions and to local and national TV. The recorded demo track featured three songs, “Cry Me A River”, “Killing Me Softly”, and “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” and were recorded at Heartbeat Studio, Midlothian. After she won several local singing competitions, her mother encouraged her to send in her demo tape to Britain’s Got Talent. Boyle said that she was motivated to pursue her musical career to pay tribute to her mother. The performance on Britain’s Got Talent was the first time she had performed in public since her mother died in 2007 at the age of 91.
In 2012, Boyle was awarded an honorary doctorate certificate in caring from Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University. Boyle remains actively involved at her church as a volunteer, visiting elderly members of the congregation in their homes. In 2010, she purchased with her earnings a four-bedroom council house and later a house she calls the “posh house” in Blackburn.
Part of Boyle’s charm is the way she looks. She is a 51-year-old woman who is comfortable in her own skin. She doesn’t look like your average pop star and lives a simple life. It is exciting to see someone, so sensational and talented, rise to the top. Boyle continues to inspire the world with her incredible singing voice and passion. Boyle says her future goals are to keep going, to keep getting better at what she is doing and to make people happy. She is living her dream now and has a lot to look forward to in terms of success.
Notes & References:
8. Boyle, Susan. The Woman I Was Born to Be: My Story (2010) Atria Books