It seems that this Christmas will be a very merry one for Susan Boyle, whose holiday album “The Gift” topped the Billboard charts for the second week in a row. Insiders have estimated sales of 325,000 for the past two weeks, making for a total of 650,000 units sold so far. Such an accomplishment is a hefty one for any singer, but Susan Boyle’s journey to the top is truly different. As a 49-year-old woman from a small estate of Scotland, Susan Boyle became a worldwide sensation for proving everyone wrong.
After appearing on Britain’s Got Talent in early 2009, Susan Boyle gained worldwide recognition for her singing ability. Yet when she first took the stage as a contestant, Susan’s age and her “frumpy” appearance left spectators waiting for a good laugh. They wouldn’t get one. With her performance, the Scottish singer gave everyone a shame-inducing reminder of the old adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Susan overwhelmed everyone in the arena by belting out Les Misérables’ “I Dreamed a Dream” with a voice so intense and beautiful that she had some people teary-eyed. Even the show’s judges apologized to a then 47-year-old Susan for their having formed an earlier opinion. Despite hearing such regrets, Miss Boyle seemed unaware of all the harsh judgments that were brewing before she opened her mouth that day. Though she wasn’t exactly easy on the eyes, there was no question that Susan Boyle’s amazing voice trumped all other factors. She also had this vulnerable-while-aloof quality about her, again made obvious when she tried to exit the stage after belting out her choice of song. A stunned audience waited while the Judges ushered her back so that they could give her the credit she deserved.
Susan Boyle’s appearance on the British talent show became the most visited video clip on YouTube. Considering her performance beat out the likes of Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and George Bush vs. Shoes, this is pretty significant for a previously unknown woman from Scotland. In November of 2009 Susan Boyle released her first album, appropriately titled “I Dreamed a Dream”. Three months before its scheduled release, the CD would become Amazon.com’s best-selling album in pre-sales, beating out the likes of Whitney Houston and even The Beatles. In rushing to buy a hard copy of her album, perhaps people were looking to encapsulate this moment in time. Susan’s album would also sell 701,000 copies in the U.S. during its first week, a feat which, according to The New York Times, makes for the best opening week for a debut artist in over a decade.
The results of this project alone implicate the world’s fascination with Susan Boyle. They have an immense appreciation for her music as well as who she is as a person. Her uplifting performance on Britain’s Got Talent released the secret underdog in all of us.