When Susan Boyle first walked out on the stage of Britain's Got Talent, no one would have thought that hidden inside a meek, unpretentious exterior would be a prima donna singer whose heart-stopping rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical play, Les Misérables, not only stunned the audience to utter silence but also won her the coveted "Golden Buzzer".
Fast forward to 2020, and following a successful musical career during which she was nominated for two Grammy Awards, Susan Boyle's net worth stands at $40 million.
The year was 2008: Susan Boyle was a 46-year-old woman with Asperger's, never married, and still living at home, when she stepped on the stage of Britain's Got Talent.
She stunned the in-attendants and the judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, and Piers Morgan, with her rendition of the Les Misérables song "I Dreamed a Dream".
The performance landed her the "Golden Buzzer" that took her straight through to the semi-finals. Her performance was viewed by 10 million viewers at the time it aired and caused a surge in the sale of tickets to the musical play Les Misérables.
While she ended up being the runner-up, after the dance troupe Diversity took home the crown, Boyle's career took off after the show.
The goodwill she amassed for her run in Britain's Got Talent was directly responsible for her November 23, 2009-debut album, I Dreamed a Dream being the fastest-selling UK debut album of all time.
The album sold 701,000 copies in the US alone and remained #1 for six consecutive weeks at the Billboard charts.
The following year, she released her sophomore album, a Christmas-themed album, The Gift. She followed that up with six additional studio albums: Someone to Watch Over Me (2011), Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs from the Stage (2012), Home for Christmas (2013), Hope (2014), A Wonderful World (2016), and Ten (2019).
Collectively, she has sold 19 million albums worldwide to date and won numerous accolades, including two Grammy Award nominations.
Susan has also tried her hand at acting with her debut performance in the 2013 Christmas movie, The Christmas Candle. Besides playing the role of Eleanor Hopewell, Boyle also lent her voice to the original song, "Miracle Hymn".
If there is anyone in showbiz who understands the struggle, it is Susan Boyle. So when she gets the chance to make people's lives even the tiniest bit better, she does so wholeheartedly.
She has been part of many benefit concerts and studio recordings. She was part of the ensemble that sang "Everybody Hurts" for relief for the victims of the Haiti earthquake on January 26, 2010.
She has also been a part of BBC's charity drives, performing for telethons that benefit causes such as the famine in Ethiopia, and poverty in African countries.
Besides that, Susan has performed for BBC Children in Need telethon five times and performed at the Special Olympics Great Britain for disabled athletes.
She has also been involved in charity auctions, first auctioning the dress she wore during a performance in America's Got Talent for $643 that went into The Laura McPhee Memorial Fund.
She then auctioned another dress for $8000 that went into the Prince's Trust, and a dress she had worn on The Oprah Show was auctioned for $500 that went into Metro Radio Newcastle England's Cash For Kids Campaign.
In October 2013, Boyle was named the new ambassador for Save the Children UK.
Susan is listed as residing in the family home that she grew up in. The property, in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland, holds tremendous value to her due to the memories that she made a living with her family there.
Speaking on the nostalgia that is the primary reason she chose to stay in the modest home instead of a mansion more befitting her stature, Susan said:
"It’s to do with the memories of your house and your upbringing, you need to take stock of things and maybe see where you come from and where your roots lie. It’s best to be grounded and with your roots. It keeps you grounded and prevents you from saying things maybe you shouldn't say."
She did, however, recently put money into refurbishing and renovating the house to be a cozier affair.
She renovated the kitchen completely and added in a contemporary kitchen isle and tiled flooring to exude a more modern feel. Her living room had also been touched up with dark-wood flooring and newly papered walls.
She also added in a music room complete with a sleek upright piano.
But despite the recent additions, the house is still permeated with memories of her childhood immortalized in photographs of her parents and siblings hung all over the house.
Another theme that dominates her house is religion. Being a staunch follower of Roman catholicism, she has religious ornaments placed in all rooms of her house.
Susan Boyle was born Susan Magdalane Boyle on April 1, 1961.
The youngest of five children born to miner and World War II veteran, Patrick Boyle, and his wife, Bridget Boyle, a shorthand typist, Boyle was raised in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland.
Susan's passion for singing was fostered by her father, who, besides being a war vet and a miner, was also a singer.
Susan was misdiagnosed as being oxygen-deprived during childhood, attributing to her struggles with learning, when in fact, she had Asperger's Syndrome. The developmental disorder plagued her all through her childhood, and she was bullied incessantly.
Her insecurities, coupled with the bullying, made it impossible for her to have positive human interaction, and she spent most of her adult life single. She lives in the same family house she grew up in, even after the deaths of her parents, and even after all her siblings moved out.
Despite swearing off romantic relationships completely in her November 2012 interview, where she went on to say that she was afraid of getting into online dating, saying:
Knowing my luck I'd go out on a date and you'd find my limbs scattered around various Blackburn dustbins!"
However, in November 2014, Susan broke to the news during her sit-down interview with The Sun that she was in a relationship with her first boyfriend at age 53.
The mystery man -- who remains unnamed to this day -- is reportedly an American doctor who Susan met when they were staying at the same hotel.
Susan was adamant about not naming the man, but went on to say:
"I don't want to say any more about who he is right now as that would be unfair on him. All I'll say is we are around the same age and he was a very nice guy."