Susan Boyle - from Scottish nobody to worldwide sensation

Days after Susan Boyle caused a sensation on Britain's Got Talent she has conquered another media market far from her home in Blackburn, Scotland.

America is going nuts for the lady. Under the headline "Just Who Is The Singer Susan Boyle?", the San Francisco Chronicle noted: "Unless you live under a rock, you know about the Scottish woman who has taken the industrialised world by storm."

That tempest is being fuelled by YouTube clips of her gorgeously quivering delivery of the song I Dream A Dream from the musical Les Miserables.

No sooner had actress Demi Moore confessed on Twitter that Boyle, 47, had made her cry, than the entire US media machine was swinging into action. Newspapers, blog sites and television stations are clambering for a slice of the woman with the "thick eyebrows, frumpy beige dress, several double chins".

CBS scored biggest. There on its Early Show was a bemused-looking Boyle for a live satellite interview from her front room. London correspondent Mark Phillips had been dispatched to her local pub to gauge her popularity among the punters - they love her, of course. In New York, Patti LuPone, who was the first to perform I Dream a Dream on Broadway, rated Boyle's performance: "Perfect," she said.

"You have become overnight a worldwide star," CBS anchor Harry Smith gushed. "Do you understand that ... what that means?"

Boyle, who sang a few bars again for those American viewers who had not already heard her on YouTube, responded very simply, "It hasn't completely sunk in yet."

CNN reported that after broadcasting excerpts of Boyle this week, it had been besieged by viewer requests for more. It also said that it would interview her on its own daily breakfast show, American Morning.

That America should be swooning for Boyle, who told Simon Cowell and friends that she lived alone with her cat Pebbles and had "never kissed", is no surprise. It will respond to any variation of the fairy tale where the apparently unprepossessing suddenly becomes pretty, from Shrek to My Fair Lady.

- THE INDEPENDENT

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