When Susan Boyle walked on to the Britain's Got Talent stage in 2009 she was sneered at by audience members as she told them her dream was to be a professional singer, and that she hoped to one day be as successful as her idol Elaine Paige.

Seven years and as many albums later the 55-year-old performer has fulfilled her dream of becoming a fulltime singer but confessed she still is yet to feel as an equal to Paige.

"I'm still trying ... and working very hard," Boyle told the Herald.

Six months after gaining second place on the talent show Boyle was overjoyed when she was invited to sing on stage with the award-winning musical theatre star who she had admired so dearly.


"I couldn't believe it was actually happening. Elaine Paige has been one of my favourite musical people and it was very surreal to find that she was there and I could actually speak to her and I could actually sing with her.

"I still can't believe I've done it, it's been really surreal."

Boyle's breath-taking audition saw her become an overnight sensation and reminded viewers not to pass judgment on others too quickly.

She graced the stage with her uncanny humour and obscurity but through her quirks was able to amaze the judges with her stand-out vocals, not only winning the panel over but the world.

She says she sometimes looks back at that audition just for a laugh.

"I get a bit of the giggles when I see myself in that frock."

Although different from the others, Boyle possessed an assured confidence although she will tell you she was still apprehensive.

"I was nervous, everyone gets nervous at auditions and I just thought 'I want to have a bit of fun here'."

After the audition her performance has been viewed more than 200 million times and the songstress has gone on to sell more than 25 million albums worldwide.

Boyle was 47 when her chance to find success arrived. From humble beginnings in a quaint Scottish village as a young girl she would dream of performing on stage and sharing her talent with the world. She describes her bedroom as the place that would become her bubble where she could dream big.

She grew up listening to the US pop group The Osmonds. In 2012, Boyle was given the opportunity to perform with her idol, Donny Osmond.

"When I was growing up I was very much into The Osmonds, and my favourite, my very favourite person was Donny Osmond and I had the pleasure of singing with him when he was in Las Vegas at the Flamingo a couple of years back. He was a very nice person and a funny person. He had a great sense of humour."

Susan Boyle says performing with Donny Osmond was a dream come true as she admired him greatly growing up. Photo / Getty.
Susan Boyle says performing with Donny Osmond was a dream come true as she admired him greatly growing up. Photo / Getty.

After the audition Boyle's world was flipped upside down. Her sudden rise to fame was overwhelming but she tried to remain grounded.

"What you do is you take a step back and you take baby steps. It was a lot coming at me and what you do is you take a wee bit at a time and learn as much as you can. I've learned quite a lot because it was quite a learning curve."

She says it is people like Donny Osmond who keep her inspired.

"They've worked really hard to get where they are and I am still working on it. I'm always driven to be better and better at what I do."

Now on her seventh album, Boyle is still determined to keep on track and pour everything into her music career. She says this album is about making an impression and decided to do it with a bit of Christmas spirit.

"This year when we were planning the album, we wanted to make it a Christmas album, but we didn't want to make it a conventional Christmas album so we picked songs which reflected moods of romance. I'm making a comeback with this album, and I hope the public can receive it very well because I had a lot of fun making it."

Her favourite track on the album is When I fall in love by Nat King Cole.

"It reminds me very much of my Mum and Dad when they were dancing."

For Boyle, her dream became a reality and her message to others is concise: "Follow your dream. It's difficult, but it's not impossible. Follow your dream."

- Susan Boyle's seventh album A Wonderful World is out now.