Susan Boyle defied all the odds when she won the heart of nation in 2008 with her amazing singing voice and charming nature.
Now, she’s back with her brand new album Standing Ovation, which sees the Scottish singer take on some of the biggest songs to have graced the boards of the West End over the years.
We talked to her when she popped in to QVC for a special performance about the new record, what it’s been like having a musical made after her and fantastic rapport with her fans.
So, what made you want to form a collection of stage songs?
Musicals are one of my favourite genres of music. The theatre is a sanctuary for me and I especially love the way stories are communicated through the lyrics and the music, it taps all emotions and senses.
Have you always had a love of stage music?
Always, since I was a wee girl I have loved them. I used to save my money so that I could go and watch the shows. I also enjoyed going to see them with my Mum as she was a big fan as well. I have an eclectic taste in music but musicals are up there as my favourite. Although I’m also equally happy listening to Take That, Coldplay, Elton John to name a few.
What was it like when you knew they were writing a musical about you?
It really blew me away. I never thought for a second people would want to come and watch that. It was a great honour. I will also admit it was hard to watch, I found it very emotional to see my parents especially portrayed on stage but after a couple of shows I learned to love that part as it was done so sensitively.
And you’ve been involved with it too, so what’s it been like being on the creative side of the stage?
I was the special guest at the end of the show. I never intended to do so many but I enjoyed being a part of the family that was the cast and crew. As I found more and more confidence I wanted to be there every night. The show is touring round Australia in 2013 and I can’t wait to be a part of that.
This is your fourth album now, how do you feel you’ve grown as a singer over the period?
I feel like I have learned more about my profession and I do feel far more comfortable with what I do. You still have moments of self-doubt and question when this will all end but those are now less frequent for me and my self-belief is getting stronger with everything I do. I think it’s natural to have nerves and be your own harshest critic. I know I’m very critical of everything I do. Having said that as time moves on I am enjoying myself a lot more. It is a learning curve and I think I'm getting better, I feel semi-professional now!
How does West Lothian compare to Las Vegas?
West Lothian is home! It’s where I grew up, where my friends and family are and it keeps me grounded. Being able to visit places like Vegas is amazing but my heart is in my home town of Blackburn and I will never leave.
So, what is your greatest memory from your time on Britain’s Got Talent?
The greatest memory is meeting Piers Morgan and Simon Cowell and also how supportive both have been to me since 2009. I’m very lucky to have a friend in Piers and the best boss in the world, Simon.
What was it like, only months after being discovered on the show, when you broke the record for the most album pre-orders ever?
Well it was a total surprise. I could never have imagined that it would have been so popular. All I wanted was people to hear me sing and to make people happy. Still today album sales and money in the bank is not my motivation. It obviously helps to pay the gas and electric but I just want my fans to be happy and like my work. That to me is the most important thing.
You communicate a lot with your fans, writing them letters and doing Q&A’s, why is that so important to you?
It’s very important. I wouldn’t be here without my fans and it’s important that I can show my appreciation. It’s also very important that I can have direct access to them. As with anyone in the public eye rumours come up and it’s good they can ask me questions so I can reassure them that they are not true. I have the best fans in the world and seeing the red scarves where ever I go is wonderful. It is also reassuring when I’m on stage and performing to know they are there.
You’re very publically devout in your religion, has that helped you over the last few years in particular?
Religion is the backbone to my life and it’s incredibly important to me. When I have moments of self-doubt I can use prayer to get me through. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without religion in my life.
To finish off then, what does the future have in store for you?
Well hopefully more albums. I’d like to keep travelling around the world and performing, visiting new places and meeting new people. I’m loving what I’m doing and don’t want it to end. I’d also like people to buy lots of copies of Standing Ovation- this is the album I dreamed of making and want everyone to hear what I achieved.
Susan Boyle can be seen performing on QVC tonight and her new album Standing Ovation is out now.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith