Susan Magdalane Boyle (born 1 April 1961) is a Scottish singer who came to international public attention when she appeared as a contestant on reality TV programme Britain's Got Talent on 11 April 2009, singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables. Her first album was released in November 2009 and debuted as the number one best-selling CD on charts around the globe.
Global interest in Boyle was triggered by the contrast between her powerful voice and her plain appearance on stage. The juxtaposition of the audience's first impression of her, with the standing ovation she received during and after her performance, led to an international media and internet response. Within nine days of the audition, videos of Boyle—from the show, various interviews and her 1999 rendition of "Cry Me a River" — had been watched over 100 million times. Her audition video has been viewed on the internet several hundred million times.Despite the sustained media interest she later finished in second place in the final of the show behind dance troupe Diversity.
Boyle's first album, I Dreamed a Dream, was released on 23 November 2009 and became Amazon's best-selling album in pre-sales. According to Billboard, "The arrival of I Dreamed a Dream ... marks the best opening week for a female artist's debut album since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991." In only six weeks of sales, it became the biggest selling album in the world for 2009, selling 9 million copies. In September 2010, Boyle was officially recognised by Guinness World Records as having had the fastest selling debut album by a female artist in the UK, the most successful first week sales of a debut album in the UK, and was also awarded the record for being the oldest person to reach number one with a debut album in the UK.
* 1 Biography
o 1.1 Early singing
* 2 Music career
o 2.1 Britain's Got Talent
o 2.2 I Dreamed a Dream and tour (2009)
o 2.3 The Gift (2010–present)
* 3 Media impact
* 4 Social analyses
o 4.1 Judging by appearance
o 4.2 Feminist view
o 4.3 'American Dream'
* 5 Cultural references
* 6 Discography
o 6.1 Studio albums
o 6.2 Singles
* 7 References
* 8 External links
Boyle was born in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland, to Patrick Boyle, a miner, World War II veteran and singer at the Bishop's Blaize, and Bridget, a shorthand typist, who were both immigrants from County Donegal, Ireland. She was the youngest of four brothers and six sisters. Born when her mother was 47, Boyle was briefly deprived of oxygen during the difficult birth and was later diagnosed as having learning difficulties. Boyle says she was bullied as a child and was nicknamed "Susie Simple" at school.
After leaving school with few qualifications, she was employed for the only time in her life as a trainee cook in the kitchen of West Lothian College for six months, took part in government training programmes, and performed at a number of local venues.
Boyle still lives in the family home, a four-bedroom council house, with her 10-year-old cat, Pebbles. Her father died in the 1990s, and her siblings had left home. Boyle never married, and she dedicated herself to care for her ageing mother until she died in 2007 at the age of 91. Boyle has a reputation for modesty and propriety, admitting during her first appearance on Britain's Got Talent that she had "never been married, never been kissed". A neighbour reported that when Bridget Boyle died, her daughter "wouldn't come out for three or four days or answer the door or phone."
Boyle is Catholic and sang in her church choir at her church in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland. Boyle remains active as a volunteer at her church, visiting elderly members of the congregation in their homes. On a 2010 episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Boyle summarised that her daily life was "mundane" and "routine" prior to stardom.
Boyle took singing lessons from voice coach Fred O'Neil. She attended Edinburgh Acting School and took part in the Edinburgh Fringe. Prior to Britain's Got Talent, her main experience had come from singing in her local Catholic church, Our Lady of Lourdes, in local choirs, and in karaoke performances at pubs in and around her village. She had also auditioned several times for My Kind of People. She also has long participated in her parish church's pilgrimages to the Knock Shrine, County Mayo, Ireland, and has sung there at the Marian basilica.
Her repertoire through the years has included songs such as "The Way We Were" and "I Don't Know How to Love Him." British tabloids claimed "exclusives" of video clips of some early performances. In 1995, her audition for Michael Barrymore's My Kind of People at the Olympia Shopping Centre in East Kilbride was filmed – the amateur video shows Barrymore was more interested in mocking her than in her ability to sing.
In 1999 she recorded a track for a charity CD to commemorate the Millenniumproduced at a West Lothian school. Only 1,000 copies of the CD, Music for a Millennium Celebration, Sounds of West Lothian, were pressed. An early review in the West Lothian Herald & Post said Boyle's rendition of "Cry Me a River" was "heartbreaking" and "had been on repeat in my CD player ever since I got this CD... The recording found its way onto the internet following her first televised appearance and the New York Post said it showed that Boyle was "not a one trick pony. Hello! said the recording "cement[ed] her status" as a singing star.
In 1999, Boyle used all her savings to pay for a professionally cut demo, copies of which she later sent to record companies, radio talent competitions, local and national TV. The demo consisted of her versions of "Cry Me a River" and "Killing Me Softly with His Song"; the songs were uploaded to the Internet after her BGT audition.