The Transformation Of Susan Boyle From 48 To 59 Years Old

Susan Boyle is one of the U.K.'s most talented singers and biggest success stories in recent times. After years of trying to be heard, the Scottish star did not give up and eventually achieved her dreams. According to Britannica, Boyle was born on April 1, 1961, at the Bangour Village Hospital in West Lothian, Scotland. As a young child, she was drawn to music and enjoyed singing. At 12 years old, Boyle's teachers recognized her talent at school after she participated in various musical productions.

In 1995, she auditioned for the British TV talent show My Kind of People, but her attempt was unsuccessful. However, four years later, her cover of the classic "Cry Me a River" received positive reviews when it was featured on a local charity shop CD. In the early 2000s, she continued to produce several recordings for local performances and benefits, while taking professional singing lessons.

After the death of her mother in 2007, Boyle stopped singing for nearly two years. In late 2008, she decided to audition for another talent show, Britain's Got Talent, in honor of her mom because she loved the show and had previously been encouraged by her to become a contestant. In April 2009, the then-48-year-old Boyle's (pictured above) audition aired on TV.  It's safe to say the rest was history. Keep reading to find out why.

Susan Boyle became an overnight success

Susan Boyle's audience on Britain's Got Talent has gone down in talent show history for many reasons. At age 47, she expressed to the panel and studio audience that she had been wanting to become a professional singer and was hoping the show would help her achieve that goal. Before she even began to sing, some of the panelists and people in the audience were seemingly laughing and doubting Boyle's potential of becoming as popular as Elaine Paige, an iconic singer whose success Boyle had hoped to replicate.

Boyle (pictured above at age 48) performed a powerful rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream," taken from the musical Les Misérables. As soon as she opened her mouth, she immediately wowed the studio audience and judges, putting everyone in their place. Boyle received a standing ovation and was all anyone wanted to talk about. Panelist Piers Morgan admitted it was the biggest surprise he's ever had while being on the show, while Amanda Holden said it was the biggest "wake-up call ever." The audition quickly caught the attention of many and went viral. As of March 2021, it has been viewed more than 248 million times on YouTube.

Boyle came in second place to dance group Diversity that season, but her subsequent success proved she was still a winner.

Susan Boyle has sold millions of albums worldwide

Soon after being the runner-up on Britain's Got Talent, Susan Boyle was in demand and fans were anticipating more from the emerging star. BGT judge Simon Cowell quickly signed Boyle to his label, Syco, and helped continue her success. In 2009, she released her debut album, I Dreamed A Dream, per Britannica. In November of that year, the album debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and became the second best-selling album in the United States that year, with an impressive 3.1 million copies sold, per Britannica. Boyle (pictured above at age 51) was an instant phenomenon and the world had fallen in love with her beautiful voice. As of 2021, the singer has released seven studio albums and a compilation to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her professional career. According to Edinburgh Live, Boyle has sold 19 million albums total.

Cowell has worked alongside Boyle throughout her career. In an interview with UK Music Reviews from December 2019, Boyle revealed she has nothing but love for the outspoken entrepreneur, explaining: "Well let me dispel an urban myth right from the start. Despite what you may read in some newspapers, Simon is not nasty at all; he really is a lovely guy. I have now worked with him for the past ten years and I can honestly say that he is a great guy. He really is very nice."

Susan Boyle was misdiagnosed at birth

When Susan Boyle was born in 1961, she was told she had brain damage. In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, she exclusively told the publication that she had, in fact, been misdiagnosed and eventually found out she had Asperger syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, in 2012. "It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid," Boyle explained. "I was told I had brain damage. I always knew it was an unfair label. Now I have a clearer understanding of what's wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself."

Boyle (pictured above at age 58) found out after seeking help from a Scottish specialist, adding, "Nobody told me to. I thought I had a more serious illness and couldn't function properly." 

"I think people will treat me better because they will have a much greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do," she continued. Boyle has never let her diagnosis get in the way of her dreams and has always persevered. In 2019, she returned to TV screens and participated as a contestant in the spin-off show America's Got Talent: The Champions. While she made it to the finals, Boyle lost out on the title once again, but to her fans (and likely Simon Cowell himself), she will always hold first place in their hearts.