- Event: Susan Boyle
Venue: Times Union Center’s Moran Theatre
Date: Nov. 6 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $42.50 – $129
It was the reality television performance seen literally around the world. The moment Susan Boyle walked onto the Britain’s Got Talent stage, the shy, awkward Scottish songstress took her first wobbly steps into super stardom. Boyle’s performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables would be viewed some 650 million times, earning the distinction of the most watched clip in 2009. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I had done auditions before and I quite enjoyed doing them so I just booked this one that was slightly different. I took a relaxed approach and tried to have a little fun and see what happened,” she says. “Nobody really knows how these auditions will turn out. It’s really fickle. You don’t know which way it’s going to go and I didn’t.”
Susan Boyle is embarking on her first American tour following rave reviews for her sold out Scottish and UK Tours in 2013 and 2014. She will perform Thursday, November 6 at the Times-Union Center’s Moran Theater as part of the FSCJ Artist Series Season. Audiences can expect to hear new material from the new album such as ‘Oh Happy Day’ and ‘Angel’ and ‘You Can Only Imagine.’ She previously – and successfully – covered the Rolling Stones‘ ‘Wild Horses’ and now adds Pink Floyd‘s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ and ‘Wish you Were Here’ to her repertoire. “You like to really see that you can do a bit more so I think songs like Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ make that very challenging. I put a bit more into it,” she says.
A lot has happened in the five years since Boyle first appeared on the world’s radar. She earned second place in the talent competition but the exposure put her on the fast track. Everyone wanted to learn her story, hear her voice, and test the limits of her capabilities. She answered by selling 22 million albums, earning two Grammy nominations, and shattering records set by The Beatles that had remained unseated since the 1960s.
Her meteoric rise to success also earned the prestigious honor of performing for both the Queen and the Pope. If Boyle was appropriately thrilled to appear before the Queen, she was gob smacked by her meeting with the Pope. “You are talking a big difference between the Queen and the Pope. Singing for the Queen was awesome because I had never met her, for one thing. It was quite an experience and an unforgettable experience,” she says. “But singing for the Pope, as I am a Roman Catholic myself, was very, very awesome and such a great honor. You don’t have any sort of formal conversation but he did come around and you shake his hand. I shook his hand and that was a big goal for me. I had never been that close to the Pope before. It was a once in a lifetime experience for me.”
Life on the road can be difficult for Boyle but she find comfort in the little things, like bringing along her books when away from home. “Some people go for clothes but I go for books so I can unwind. It’s very exciting but it’s very tiring,” she says. “I’m not a younger person, you know.” Boyle has traveled the world but one of her most recent thrills happened at an event close home. “Who should come into the dressing room but Rod Stewart?” she says. “He wanted to meet with me and we had a good laugh.”
There is a fairy tale element to Boyle’s story. She is the rags to riches Cinderella at the ball without the fancy gown or the Prince Charming. Her most personal success is her triumph over stereotype which she considers a victory for women of a certain age. “A lot of people judge a book by the cover. In the music industry, a girl has to be blonde, beautiful, slim. But then you get someone who comes in and doesn’t meet any of those requirements, they have their own taste and can be made to look beautiful with the magic of makeup,” she says. “You don’t have to be the stereotypical weight. You don’t have to be the way the music industry would like you to be. You be yourself no matter what people tell you.”
Boyle is having fun, traveling and pushing the boundaries. She is happy that her music makes people happy, and she has no plans to slow down just yet. “Music is an aphrodisiac. It makes you very happy and makes it very enjoyable in your work,” she says. “I would like to keep going as long as I can. If the fun continues, then I continue. As the songs says, there are no regrets. Plain and simple as that.” Catch Boyle at the Moran Theatre on November 6 at 7:30pm.