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Susan Boyle is a Scottish singer who found internet fame after appearing as a contestant on the third series of Britain’s Got Talent in April 2009. She surprised the judges with a strong performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables in the competition’s first round, despite her plain appearance. Within four days, a video of her performance was viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube.
On April 11th, 2012, Susan Boyle appeared on an episode of Britain’s Got Talent, where she sung “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical Les Miserables. The judges, known for often being harsh in their criticism, called her performance “stunning” and her voice “extraordinary.” Immediately following Boyle’s on-air performance, two separate videos from the show were uploaded via YouTube. As of November 2012, the videos have a combined total of more than 128.2 million views. The next morning, a local news article about the singer was the most popular article on Digg and the video clip made it to the front page of Reddit.
By May 25th, 2009, her video had been viewed more than 60 million times. Her online fanbase helped Boyle win the show’s viewers choice award, allowing her to sing in the finals. In the finale, Boyle came in second place, losing to a dance troupe, and was admitted to a psychiatric clinic following her final performance after the mental toll fame had taken on her. However, in December the video of her first performance was named as the top YouTube video of 2009 with more than 120 million views. In March 2012, the blog Visible Measures determined Boyle’s video was the second most viral video of all time, breaking 100 million views in nine days.
To promote the release of her album Standing Ovation on November 19th, 2012, her Twitter PR team, @SusanBoyleHQ, announced an album listening party where Boyle would be answering tweeted questions from her fans. They used the hashtag #susanalbumparty to collect the tweets. On November 20th, the hashtag was used 18,725 times, with many Twitter users pointing out the hashtag’s construction looked like it could mean “Su’s Anal Bum Party.” On November 21st, Hypervocal published a collection of tweets pointing out the hashtag’s misinterpretation, followed by stories on Gawker, the Daily Mail, the National Post, Forbes and the Huffington Post over the next few days.
Susan Boyle, born April 1st, 1961, hails from West Lothian, Scotland. Prior to being a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent, she lived alone with her cat, Pebbles. After appearing on the show, she released her first album in November 2009, which debuted at number 1 in several countries, becoming the best-selling debut album of all time in the United Kingdom. As of November 2012, she has released 4 albums and in March 2012, a jukebox musical about her life titled “I Dreamed a Dream” premiered in the UK.
Huffington Post – Susan Boyle VIDEO: Britain’s Singing YouTube Sensation
Visible Measures – Update: Kony Social Video Campaign Tops 100 Million Views