Susan Boyle (born Susan Magdalane Boyle 1.4.1961)
Susan Boyle is a Scottish singer, whose unexpected and dramatic rise to fame occurred after she entered the TV reality talent show Britain's Got Talent.
Susan Boyle: Childhood and Singing Background
Susan Boyle was born in Blackburn, West Lothian, To Patrick and Bridget Boyle. Her father was a miner and also used to be a singer. Her mother was a typist. Bridget was 47 when Susan was born. Her daughter was diagnosed with having learning difficulties as a child and was bullied at school.
Having left school with a minimal number of qualifications, Susan Boyle briefly worked as a trainee cook before entering a number of Government training schemes. She enjoyed performing and would sing at a number of local venues and working men's clubs.
She also took singing lessons and attended the Edinburgh Acting School, performing in the Edinburgh Fringe. Her main experience of singing, however, came when she would sing in her local Catholic church. She auditioned a number of times for the TV show My Kind of People, presented by Michael Barrymore.
Susan Boyle: Music Career
Having won a number of local singing contests, Susan Boyle was encouraged by her mother to enter Britain's Got Talent. She had once intended to audition for The X Factor but changed her mind when she felt that contestants were being selected for their looks, rather than for their singing talent. When she first performed on Britain's Got Talent, it was the first time that she had sung in public since the death of her mother. She said in her initial performance that she wanted to be as successful as Elaine Paige.
After her final performance, singing 'Memory' from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, Susan Boyle came second in the talent contest, losing out to the dance troupe Diversity. The judges of the show were Amanda Holden, Piers Morgan and Simon Cowell. The UK press paid great attention to Susan's mental well-being and the day after the Britain's Got Talent final, she was admitted to The Priory; a private psychiatric clinic in London.
Susan Boyle's debut album, I Dreamed a Dream, was released in November 2009. The album featured her debut single, which was a cover of the Rolling Stones' 'Wild Horses'. The album became the fastest-selling UK debut album (outselling Leona Lewis, who previously held the title) of all time and went straight to number one in the UK. The album fared similarly well, only narrowly missing out to Taylor Swift to become the biggest selling US album of 2009.
A number of US TV shows have made reference to Susan Boyle (also nicknamed Su-Bo in the press), such as South Park, The Simpsons and 30 Rock.