At 47 years old, Scottish singer Susan Boyle was not exactly what you’d call superstar material. As she walked out onto the Britain’s Got Talent stage, you can tell what the judges are thinking: who is this frumpy, awkward woman and why is she here? She tells Simon she wants to be as famous as English singer and musical theatre star Elaine Paige, to which Simon– and even some audience members– rolls his eyes. But then Susan starts to sing.
That was in April of 2009. We already know how the story ends. Susan’s performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables not only earned a standing ovation and high praise from the judges, it instantly went viral and catapulted her into international fame. Her first album– released just months after her Britain’s Got Talent audition– debuted as the number-one best-selling album on charts around the globe.
Susan’s dream of being as famous as Elaine Paige was definitely realized. Not only that, she got to sing a duet with Paige on a television special called “I Dreamed a Dream: the Susan Boyle Story.” And that’s only one of the many superstars she’s collaborated with since Britain’s Got Talent… and it’s all because she decided to go for it with one audition