On April 11, 2009, Susan Boyle, a then unknown Scottish singer, took the stage on Britain's Got Talent and captivated the world with her performance of "I Dreamed A Dream." With over 261 million views on YouTube, the performance launched her into international stardom, earning her over 35 million euros and solidifying her status as one of the most popular singers in the world.
The Dark Side of Fame
However, the sudden and overwhelming fame had a detrimental effect on Boyle's mental health. As reported by The Guardian, staff from the show contacted the police when the runner-up began exhibiting strange behavior in her London hotel room.
Following this incident, Boyle checked herself into the Priory psychiatric clinic in London. Judge Simon Cowell spoke to The Sun about rushing on stage during the live show to assure Boyle that her record deal with his company was guaranteed, but the stress proved to be too much for the singer.
Another judge, Piers Morgan, told GMTV (via The Guardian) that Boyle was "emotionally drained and exhausted" from the pressure of her sudden fame, stating "It has been crazy, she has gone from anonymity to being the most downloaded woman in history."
A Misunderstood Condition
For her entire life, Boyle was told she had brain damage due to complications at birth.
However, in 2013, she sought out a specialist in Scotland to gain a clearer understanding of her condition. "I went to seek a diagnosis from a Scottish specialist," Boyle told The Observer. "Nobody told me to. I thought I had a more serious illness and couldn't function properly." The singer was relieved to discover that her earlier diagnosis was incorrect, and she has no plans to let this condition define her professional identity.
"It's a condition that I have to live with and work through... People will have a greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do," Boyle stated.
Continuing to Create
Despite her struggles with fame and her health, Boyle continued to create music.
She released her last album in 2019 and has sold over 200 million albums worldwide. She has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and made a guest appearance on the show "River City" on BBC Scotland in November 2021. Although she avoids frequent public appearances, Boyle still maintains profiles on social networks, although she has not posted anything in a long time.