Susan Boyle (born 1 April 1961) is a Scottish church volunteer and amateur singer who leapt to almost immediate global fame when she sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical play Les Misérables on the third series of Britain's Got Talent in the competition's first round.
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- I'm trying to be a professional singer. … I've never been given the chance before. But here's hoping it'll change.
- Modern society is too quick to judge people on their appearances. There is not much you can do about it; it is the way they think; it is the way they are. But maybe this could teach them a lesson, or set an example.
- It was nerve-racking to begin with but once I started and the audience accepted it I relaxed. It has been surreal. I didn’t realise this would be the reaction I just got on with it. I can hardly remember what happened. I had my eyes closed most of the time. It really didn’t dawn on me what was happening.
I did it all for my late mum. I wanted to show I could do something with my life.
- On her first performance in the contest, as quoted in "Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle won't get makeover says Amanda Holden" in The Mirror (17 April 2009)
Quotes about Boyle
- It was a very emotional night. It goes quiet when Susan sings, it always does. She always has that effect.
- Gerry Boyle, Susan's brother, on a singing performance of his sister, as quoted in "Susan Boyle singing aged 25: World exclusive video of Britain's Got Talent star performing at family party" by Maggie Barry at The Daily Mirror (23 April 2009)
- I am so thrilled — because I know that everybody was against you. I honestly think that we were all being very cynical — and I think that's the biggest wake up call ever, and I just want to say that it was a complete privilege listening to that.
- Amanda Holden, after Boyle's first performance on Britain's Got Talent (11 April 2009)
- Without a doubt that was the biggest surprise I've had in three years on the show.
- Piers Morgan, after Boyle's first performance on Britain's Got Talent (11 April 2009)
- I can remember the moment she first opened her lips perfectly. We were at a big theatre in Glasgow, 3000 people were laughing their heads off, Simon and Amanda were stifling a chuckle, and then she started to sing.
And I can honestly say it was one of the most extraordinary moments in my perhaps equally unlikely career as a talent show judge.
Because Susan Boyle is not just a good singer, she’s a fantastic singer. Someone whose stunning range, tone and delivery is worthy of comparison to anyone — Elaine Paige included.
As I watched her performance back again last night, I texted Simon in Hollywood: ‘My god, Susan was even better than I remembered — she’s unbelievable.’ He agreed, and I could almost feel his beady little eyes going ‘KERCHING!’ down the line from his new Beverly Hills mansion.
- Susan Boyle is the ugly duckling who didn't need to turn into a swan; she has fulfilled the dreams of millions who, downtrodden by the cruelty of a culture that judges them on their appearance, have settled for life without looking in the mirror.
This is a huge constituency, and it is weary of being disparaged. Women need an avenging force like Susan Boyle. No matter how brave, strong or resourceful they are, they get punished for not being glamorous; for being ordinary; careworn. At best they are treated as if they are invisible, at worst they are regarded as freaks. Which is what the TV audience did with Ms Boyle until she started to sing.