It’s actually been well over a decade since then, but it seems as if it was just yesterday when Susan Boyle conquered the hearts of millions with her voice and personality on the stage of “Britain’s Got Talent”. Her “I Dreamed a Dream” performance, subsequent memorable participation in the show, and overall inspiring life story was a constant reminder that it’s never too late for dreams to come true, even if they happen in the most unexpected ways.
Between becoming a world-renowned singer, touring the world and even holding world records for her achievements, there simply aren’t enough ways to describe Susan’s success after rising to fame.
If you’re one of those who really miss knowing more about Susan’s whereabouts, then fear no more! Here we will tell you all about the recent life, projects, career and much more of one of the most iconic stars in the history of talent shows!
Where Is Susan Boyle Now?
Although Susan Boyle’s success is extraordinary and well deserved, she certainly deals with fame differently from most celebrities. For starters, not only is her team in charge of all her social media, but also their updates are very far apart, logically worrying her fans during extended periods of inactivity.
That being said, there’s a good reason for Susan to stay away from public life. Ever since being launched to worldwide fame thanks to her participation in “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2008, she’s had several difficulties dealing with stardom: ‘I’m still trying to come to terms with it’, she admitted to Irish Central, though the worst was yet to come in the following years, as dealing with several personal and family adversities made her rather cautious when it comes to disclosing her life to the world.
While her social media hasn’t been updated for months, that doesn’t mean she’s retired. In mid-2019, she guest performed on the stage of the “America’s Got Talent” spin-off “The Champions”, and sang at Tokyo’s “Olympics Opening Ceremony” in 2021. Though her career has been rather quiet after achieving such a feat, it’s for sure that Susan’s return to public life will come sooner rather than later.
Latest Releases and Shows
Even if it’s a rarity for talent shows’ contestants to remain relevant for a long time, Susan Boyle clearly didn’t suffer this terrible fate. Not only was her music debut as successful as her rise to fame through TV over a decade ago, but she’s still enjoying a stable and active career nowadays.
For starters, in 2019 she released her first compilation album entitled “Ten”, which peaked at number five on the UK chart, and contained 17 songs previously released through her seven studio albums. She hasn’t stopped at only creating music though, as in late 2021, she had a cameo in the popular BBC drama “River City”.
Besides taking over the stage of the 2021 Olympics with her heartfelt rendition of “Wings to Fly”, the next year a British audience poll chose her “I Dreamed A Dream” performance as the most iconic moment ever showcased in “Britain’s Got Talent”s history. Although in recent times she’s staying away from live concerts, she’s supported the Let The Music Play initiative, which encouraged the British Government to stop ‘catastrophic damage’ caused to the live music industry by the Coronavirus pandemic. In short, despite not appearing on TV or on stages as much as before, it’s clear that Susan’s career is as relevant as ever.
Rise To Fame
Susan Boyle’s rise to prominence as one of the most skilled and popular singers of the last decade happened quite surprisingly, but no one would dare to doubt how well deserved her success is.
That being said, her heartfelt and unforgettable audition for “Britain’s Got Talent” almost didn’t happen. After having no positive results in 1995, when she was mocked on stage in the show “My Kind of People”, then abandoning an “X-Factor” audition a decade later for allegedly believing it was focused on looks, it’s understandable that Susan was on the brink of not appearing in “Britain’s Got Talent” as well. According to her then-coach Fred O’Neil, as reported by The Scotsman: ‘I remember a phone call late last year when she said she was too old and that it was a young person’s game’.
Although Susan was convinced to give it a shot, it was acknowledged it was going to be the last one. Little did she know she would not only wrap the audience and judges around her finger with her unbelievable “I Dreamed A Dream” performance, but also would become a global sensation and most importantly, taught everyone a lesson on resilience and humbleness.
Number 1 in the charts, number 1 in our hearts #susanalbumparty https://t.co/sE7ae07Wmq pic.twitter.com/FY1icxbvPq
— cate in the kitchen x (@catekitchen) September 23, 2021
We know who Susan Boyle is nowadays, but there’s lots of surprising things about her beginnings.
Born in 1961, Susan was the youngest of nine siblings, and was music-oriented from an early age. For a long time, she worked in a local West Lothian university as a kitchen attendant, and was a social volunteer on the side, but her love for music remained, and she was often found singing at festivals and contests.
Susan was professionally recorded for the first time in 1998, for a demo she sent to a variety of labels and entertainment-related companies, with not much success. Later, one of her demo songs was featured in “Music for a Millennium Celebration”, an album produced by a local school for charity. Despite the humble nature of the project, Susan was praised by a local journalist.for her rendition of “Cry Me a River”
Unfortunately, Susan’s father Patrick died in the late 1990s, and her mother Bridget, who actually encouraged her to audition for “Britain’s Got Talent”, died in the mid-2000s, deeply affecting Susan: ‘She thought I would win. But after she died I didn’t feel like singing. I wasn’t up to it’, as Susan told Times Online. Clearly, Susan’s path wasn’t an easy one, but we can’t thank her enough for never giving up on her dreams.
“Britain’s Got Talent” Road & Results
One of the most unforgettable moments of Susan Boyle’s audition was when she declared her intentions of becoming as successful as Elaine Paige, but there was someone else who also inspired her. As reported by The Guardian, the “Britain’s Got Talent” first season winner Paul Potts, was one of the reasons Susan ultimately joined the show: ‘He was an inspiration to a lot of people and I thought I would take my chances’, she affirmed.
Susan was right, as her path in the show was completely memorable from start to end. After her audition became an internet sensation, her next performance with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s song “Memory” gained her not only the audience’s votes and a secure pass to the finals, but also cemented her popularity. However, despite being a fan favorite, she was placed second place in the finals, after the dance team Diversity took the winner’s spot.
Yep, that's right it was Susan Boyle at her first #BGT Audition! 👏👏👏
Posted by Britain's Got Talent on Monday, March 12, 2018
On the downside, appearing in the show significantly took a toll on her, and Susan willingly interned herself in a private psychiatric clinic following the season’s finale: ‘(she) is exhausted, that’s all there is to it. It’s no surprise, she has gone from a small town in West Lothian to being famous around the world’, her brother told the Daily Record. Fortunately, Susan successfully overcame the situation.
Following the end of “Britain’s Got Talent”, Susan Boyle fantastically completed the show’s live tour with the rest of the winners, though the best was yet to come. Susan’s debut studio album, “I Dreamed A Dream”, released in November 2009, was a total success, and was a definitive confirmation of her status as a star. The album included one original song and 11 covers, selling over nine million copies all around the world.
Only a year after her debut, Susan’s second album, “The Gift”, proved she wasn’t a one hit wonder, and charted on top positions all over the world, selling over two million copies to date. Also in 2010, her autobiography “The Woman I Was Born To Be” was published, offering a deep insight into Susan’s life and struggles.
The following years, Susan released music including her albums “Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs from the Stage”, for which she learned to play piano, “Hope” in 2014, “A Wonderful World” in 2016, and the most recent one “Ten”, released in 2019. Other memorable releases are “Home for Christmas”, and TV specials such as “The Susan Boyle Story”, “There’s Something About Susan”, and the musical “I Dreamed A Dream” performed at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal.
Throughout her career, Susan Boyle has scored a long list of achievements, including honorary titles, world records and several awards.
Though Susan apparently won her fair share of singing contests before rising to fame, the first time a mainstream media recognized her music was in 2009, when she was named Top Scot of the Year by the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards, then winning the Best Selling British Artist at the 2010 World Music Awards, and Best New Artist International by the Japan Gold Disc Awards. As well, she was nominated in important music events, such as Billboard Music Awards, and the Grammys.
Impressively enough, in 2010 Susan set five Guinness World Records, becoming then the UK’s oldest artist whose debut album charted at number one, and the only British woman to reach number ones in both the US and her home country with two separate records, on top of having her album “I Dreamed A Dream” being recognized as the fastest selling by a female artist, and most successful first week on the charts. Her second album, “The Gift” was named the most successful Christmas-themed in the UK.
As if that wasn’t enough, she received honorary doctorates from the Queen Margaret University and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2012 and 2015 respectively, making her one of the most accomplished artists of the decade.
A couple of specials and documentaries about Susan Boyle have aired on British TV, but she’s also tried her luck at acting. Her first fictional role was as Eleanor Hopewell in the 2013 holiday-themed film “The Christmas Candle”, set in the 19th century. Regarding the experience, Susan affirmed: ‘Everyone on set is a delight to work with, and it’s a fantastic experience to be part of the team’, also expressing her joy at using period costumes, as reported by Screen Daily.
In 2016, Susan appeared as herself in “Zoolander 2”, starring Ben Stiller, but her role was very brief. Reportedly, she was also meant to appear as herself in her life’s musical “I Dreamed a Dream”, as she told Broadway.com back then: ‘I’m definitely going to be on stage, I’d rather that than having to sit watching people up there looking like me’. However, actress Elaine C. Smith ended up taking the role, and Susan only made a cameo appearance.
After achieving such extraordinary fame, Susan has done her best at returning the love the public has given her, with good actions on her part. Starting from early 2010, Susan has performed in several charity events, such as the Haiti Relief concert, the Indsamling Charity Gala in Denmark, BBC1’s “Sports Relief” and “Children In Need”.
On top of contributing to the Cash for Kids Charity, Susan has donated several dresses for auction to several charities, such as The Laura McPhee Memorial Fund, The Prince’s Trust, the Cash For Kids Campaign, and the Children’s Hospital Number 17 in Russia.
Nonetheless, Susan has always had a big heart even before fame, as she was an active volunteer at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, visiting elders in the community of Whitburn, in her native West Lothian as reported by Times Online. Although she also held a position as a community worker for several years, Susan left the job to focus on the health of her mother Bridget.
Public Opinion & Impact
Understandably, Susan Boyle is recognized as one of the most impressive success stories in the UK, and probably in the rest of the world as well. For starters, no one could ever forget how she proved everyone wrong during her memorable 2009’s “Britain’s Got Talent” audition, and that set her path as an inspirational figure, something Susan herself is aware of: ‘maybe this could teach them a lesson, or set an example’, she said to The Washington Post in reference to breaking the social expectations about looks.
There are also some impressive aspects about Susan’s impact on the entertainment industry, specifically when it comes to becoming a successful singer after her 40s. Nonetheless, no matter how much praise and money Susan has obtained with her talents, the truth is that she considers herself the same woman she was before that audition: ‘My story is – what you see is what you get. There’s no airs and graces with me’, she told Irish Central back in 2009, and certainly, it’s that simple genuine personality that makes her the Susan Boyle we love.