Around this time last year, Susan Boyle was still adapting to her instant stardom after her unbelievable Britain’s Got Talent audition. She was as famous for her angelic vocals as she was for her strange outbursts with the paparazzi. Still, 2009 was a memorable one for the Scottish chanteuse, whose debut album, I Dreamed a Dream, skyrocketed to the top of the charts to become the world’s biggest selling album of the year.
In 2010, Boyle’s rags-to-riches story continues to be everything dreams are made of. The cherubic-faced songbird has achieved great things, including singing for Prince Charles at the Pride of Britain Awards, performing on The Oprah Winfrey Show (twice!), and lending her vocal talents to the R.E.M. classic “Everybody Hurts” for Simon Cowell‘s UK No. 1 charity single benefiting Haitian earthquake victims.
As she prepares to round out 2010 with an upcoming appearance on Glee (December 7), Boyle remains the people’s artist. Here’s a look back at some of the global phenomenon’s crowning moments (and one public gaffe) of 2010.
5. Three Guinness World Records
Boyle’s debut LP not only became last year’s best-selling album, the worldwide No. 1 smash landed her in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010. In September, Boyle was honored with a trio of honors BBC NEWS reports. I Dreamed a Dream was hailed as the fastest selling album by a UK female as well as becoming the most successful first week’s sales of a UK debut album (411,820 copies in the UK and 700,000 plus in the U.S.). The 49-year-old singer was also flattered as the oldest person to reach No. 1 with a debut album. You go, girl!
4. Bustin’ a Move with a Mop
Last year, Boyle suffered a handful of questionable slip-ups with the press. She discussed these particular moments and the pressure she’s felt in a candid interview with Piers Morgan earlier this month. But in 2010, Boyle appeared much more relaxed and poised …except for one minor faux pas. In January, Boyle shocked patrons at London’s Heathrow Airport with a cringe-worthy performance with a janitor’s mop. The seemingly agitated Boyle spouted off a string of profanities into her mic-like mop and treated onlookers with a few dance moves. Um, kind of awkward.
3. The Lou Reed Saga
I think most of us are quite familiar with SuBo’s scuffle with Lou Reed, right? For those who are fuzzy on the details, here’s a quick recap: In September, the Velvet Underground legend was scrutinized for denying Boyle the chance to sing his hit song “Perfect Day” during an episode of America’s Got Talent. The press had a field day with this, with many, including Simon Cowell, calling for Reed’s head on a stick. In the end, licensing issues were actually to blame and Boyle pushed on with its inclusion on her second album, The Gift. The two eventually called a truce according to London’s Daily Record, which revealed that Reed happily directed Boyle’s Scottish-themed video for the tune. Awwww!
2. Performing for the Pope
As if her fall schedule wasn’t already chock full with various obligations and other exciting ventures, Boyle’s biggest wish came true in September when she sang for Pope Benedict XVI. Boyle performed “I Dreamed a Dream,” “How Great Thou Art” and “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” before a crowd of 65,000 at Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park. Boyle was especially honored with the chance to sing for the Pope and told the BBC that it was “beyond my imagination, beyond my wildest dreams.”
Here, Boyle sings the traditional Christian hymn “How Great Thou Art”:
1. Big As the Beatles
Boyle reigned over the U.S. and UK charts yet again with November release of her second album, The Gift. While it didn’t gross the same numbers as its best-selling predecessor, it earned SuBo one of her biggest nods to date: she is first female artist to earn back-to-back No. 1 albums in less than a year. Reuters UK reported that such an accomplishment was previously held by The Beatles in 1969.
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