Scottish singer Susan Magdalane Boyle first gained public attention Worldwide when she appeared as a contestant on reality TV programme Britain's Got Talent on April 11, 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.
Interest and fascination was triggered by the contrast between Boyle's powerful voice her plain appearance on stage, nd her stated deissre to sing like "Elaine Page," a British musical legend.
The huge contrast 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 November 23, 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.
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Susan Boyle - Britain's Got Talent 2009 Episode 1 - Saturday 11th April | HD High Quality
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.
-----Boyle was born in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland. Born when her mother was 47, Boyle was later diagnosed as having learning difficulties. She says she was bullied as a child and was nicknamed "Susie Simple" at school.
Boyle still lives in the family home, a four-bedroom council house, with her 10-year-old cat, Pebbles.
After her father died in the 1990s, she took care of her ageing mother until she died in 2007 at the age of 91. Boyle has a reputation for modesty and propriety. Boyle sang in the choir at her church in Blackburn then took singing lessons from voice coach Fred O'Neil. She attended Edinburgh Acting School and took part in the Edinburgh Fringe.
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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.
A biopic is being made starring Glenn Close as Susan Boyle. It has also been announced that Boyle will appear in a musical about her life. She will appear as herself, rather than "having to sit watching people up there" who are actors. The musical will "tell the singer's entire life story, including her years living with her moggy back in Blackburn before her world-famous telly audition." The show may play in the West End before touring the United Kingdom.