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Susan Boyle

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Susan Boyle - Britain's Got Talent

Susan Boyle - Britain's Got Talent

Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell / Getty Images

Susan Boyle's Early Years and Personal Life:

Susan Boyle was born April 1, 1961 in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland. She was the youngest of a large family and born when her mother was 47. A deprivation of oxygen during a difficult birth left her with mild brain injury causing learning disabilities. Susan Boyle has revealed that she was a victim of bullying as a young child.

As an adult, most of the care for Susan Boyle's mother fell to her. The pair lived together, and her mother passed away at the age of 91. Grief over the death of her mother caused Susan Boyle to stop singing for a few years.

Singing Experience:

While growing up Susan Boyle sang in school choirs and musical productions. She took singing lessons from vocal coach Fred O'Neil. With the encouragement of her mother, Susan Boyle entered a wide range of local singing competitions and has a large collection of trophies to attest to her success. She auditioned for the TV talent show My Kind of People at a shopping mall in 1995. Susan Boyle believes that she was too nervous to make a solid first impression.

When her mother died at the age of 91, Susan Boyle put her music on hold. She later chose to enter Britain's Got Talent as a tribute to her mother.

Susan Boyle Singing:

'Britain's Got Talent' Contestant:

On April 11, 2009, Susan Boyle took the stage in the first round of the talent competition Britain's Got Talent. Amid incredulous looks from the judges and barely suppressed laughter from audience members, Susan Boyle sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical show Les Miserables. Her critics were instantly silenced as attention shifted from her ordinary looks to extraordinary singing talent. She was put through to the show's semi-final.

Susan Boyle sang "Memory" from Cats in the semi-final May 24, 2009. Advancing to the final, she finished second to the dance troupe Diversity on May 30, 2009.

Susan Boyle's Musical Style:

Susan Boyle possesses the voice of a singer of classic pop standards and show tunes. Both songs that she sang on Britain's Got Talent were from Broadway shows. However, her recording of "Cry Me a River" and demo of "Killing Me Softly" show some versatility leaning in the jazz and R&B areas. Susan Boyle herself has said that she hopes to be a professional singer in the model of Elaine Page who came to fame in stage shows such as Evita, Cats, and Chess.

Recording Artist:

Following her stunning first televised performance, Susan Boyle became a worldwide sensation inspiring praise of the ability of an everyday person to rise to stardom simply due to their singing talent. Her performances have been seen and heard over 100 million times on the video site YouTube. Speculation began almost immediately over Susan Boyle's prospects for success as a recording artist.

In the days before the Britain's Got Talent final, stories began emerging of the stress being experienced by Susan Boyle. She was portrayed as argumentative and subject to public outbursts. The day after the show concluded, she was admitted to a private clinic. An official statement read that she was, "exhausted and emotionally drained, suffering from exhaustion."

Britain's Got Talent Judge Amanda Holden said that Susan Boyle does not suffer from any underlying mental health problems and should recover her equilibrium fairly quickly. Reportedly Simon Cowell, another of the show's judges, is making plans to help turn Susan Boyle into a successful recording artist. She took part in the summer Britain's Got Talent concert tour. Her first album I Dreamed a Dream is due in stores November 24, 2009. The first single is a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses."

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