Entries in Susan Boyle (8)


The Next Susan Boyle?

George Doyle/Stockbyte(SEOUL) -- Sung Bong Choi, 22, had never performed in front of a large audience before. In fact, the South Korean, orphaned at the age of 3, had been homeless for much of his life. But his rendition of the Italian song "Nella Fantasia" or "In My Fantasy" on a popular South Korean talent show has made him into an instant Internet sensation, drawing immediate comparisons to the likes of singers Susan Boyle and Paul Potts.

Like Boyle and Potts, who rose to fame on reality TV show Britain's Got Talent, Choi took the stage of Korea's Got Talent, appearing unfit for the part. Sporting a bowl cut and flannel shirt, the shy contestant introduced himself as a "manual worker" who had made a living selling "gum and energy drinks" for 10 years. The audience laughed initially, but Choi had them in tears, by the time he finished singing.

The stunned panel of three judges called the performance "unbelievable," and offered to coach Choi "no matter where he ended up in the competition."

"I don't sing that well but when I sing, I feel like I become a different person," the contestant said.

Choi's voice may have blown the judges away, but his story is what has captivated viewers around the world. Orphaned at the age of 3, he ran away from the orphanage two years later after he says he was abused. He says he has been homeless since, sleeping on the stairs and public toilets whenever possible.

The singer took the Korean equivalent of a GED test to get through elementary and middle school. He graduated from a high school for the arts, but could not continue with any professional training because of his financial situation, according to South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.

Choi told judges, singing was his only escape.

Choi's rags to riches tale has drawn comparisons to Scottish singer Susan Boyle, who wowed British TV show judges in 2009 with her rendition of Les Miserables song "I Dreamed a Dream." Like Choi, Boyle gained global notoriety for the stark contrast between her plain appearance and her powerful voice. Her first album "I Dreamed a Dream" debuted at the top of the charts around the world.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Edward Reid: The New Susan Boyle?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- World, meet the new Susan Boyle.

Edward Reid brought down the house on Britain's Got Talent over the weekend, wowing the judges of the reality singing competition and scoring a standing ovation from the audience with his dramatic medley of nursery rhymes.

The crowd laughed and jeered when Reid opened with "Old MacDonald." But his undulating voice won them over as he moved into "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." By the time he concluded with "If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands," every pair of hands in the room was, indeed, applauding wildly.

Reid set his medley to the tune of Snow Patrol's hit rock ballad "Run." The judges relished his take on the age-old songs.

"Wow, really creative and very funny, thank God for you," David Hasselhoff crowed. "'Jack and Jill' will never be the same."

"I can definitely see you getting booked for Elton John's child's first birthday party," Michael McIntyre said.

The show's three judges voted "yes" to Reid, ensuring he'd soon croon for the cameras again.

Reid, a 35-year-old drama teacher from Glasgow, Scotland, follows on the heels of Boyle, the never-been-kissed 48-year-old churchgoer who turned into an international sensation after singing "I Dreamed a Dream" during her Britain's Got Talent audition in 2009.

A YouTube video of Boyle's audition has been viewed more than 64 million times. Her 2009 debut album, also called "I Dreamed a Dream," hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold 701,000 copies in its first week.

A YouTube video of Reid's audition has been viewed more than 370,000 times since it was uploaded Saturday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Taylor Swift Retakes Top Spot on Chart; Michael Jackson Comes in Third

Photo Courtesy - Big Machine Records(NEW YORK) -- Taylor Swift's album Speak Now has regained the number one spot on the Billboard album chart, for a third non-consecutive week.

Michael Jackson's posthumous album Michael had to settle for a number three debut, behind last week's number one, Susan Boyle's The Gift, which falls to number two.

Michael sold 228,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Soundscan, a total that beat expectations, but still wasn't enough for number one.  Yahoo!'s Chart Beat column points out that Michael marks the first time that an album of new Michael Jackson material hasn't debuted at number one since 1982, when Thriller debuted at number 11.  If Michael never reaches number one, it'll be his first album of new material that hasn't reached the top spot since 1979, when Off the Wall peaked at number three.

According to Jackson's camp, Michael is a smashing success.  They're trumpeting the fact that the album sold over three million copies around the world in one week, and topped the charts in Germany, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands.  It's also top five in Japan, the U.K., France, Denmark and Belgium.  Its first-week sales in the U.K. were the highest ever for a Jackson album since Dangerous, nearly 20 years ago.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Susan Boyle's 'The Gift' Continues at Number One

Photo Courtesy - Columbia Records(NEW YORK) -- Susan Boyle is now the Queen of Christmas, as her seasonal album The Gift stays at number one on the Billboard album chart for a fourth non-consecutive week.  In the five weeks it's been in stores, the album has sold 1.43 million copies.

At the other end of the spectrum is another singer who found fame on a televised talent competition.  After starting at number 19, Live it Up, the debut album from American Idol champ Lee DeWyze, has now fallen to number 133 on the charts.  In one month, the disc has moved just under 72,000 copies.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Susan Boyle's 'The Gift' Returns to Top; Debut CD Top Album of 2010

Photo Courtesy - Columbia Records(NEW YORK) -- Susan Boyle's album The Gift has returned to the number one spot with sales of 272,000 copies this past week, according to Nielsen Soundscan.  It's already gone platinum; in fact, it currently ranks in the top-10 best-selling albums of the year, even though it just came out in November.

Meanwhile, Yahoo's Chart Watch reports that Boyle's first album, I Dreamed a Dream, will likely be named Billboard's Top Album of 2010, even though it came out last year.  Billboard's chart year runs from November to November, and that album sold several copies last November and December.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Boyle Stays on Top; DeWyze Has Lowest Start of Any 'Idol' Champ

Photo Courtesy - Columbia Records(NEW YORK) -- Susan Boyle's album The Gift remained at number one on the Billboard album chart for a second week, with sales of the album actually increasing.  Billboard reports the likely reason is that Boyle's target demographic is older, and older music fans tend to buy albums at a slow and steady pace, rather than rushing out and getting it on the day of its release.

Coming in at number two is another singer who got her start on a TV competition created by Simon Cowell: 10-year-old Jackie Evancho, the runner-up on America's Got Talent.  Her EP, O Holy Night, sold 239,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

But it was bad news for a third singer who got his start on a TV competition judged by Simon Cowell.  American Idol champ Lee DeWyze saw his debut album, Live it Up, enter the chart at number 19, with sales of just 39,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan.  That's the lowest first-week sales for a debut album by an Idol winner -- or a runner-up, for that matter.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Susan Boyle Makes History with New Album

Photo Courtesy - Columbia Records(LONDON) -- Susan Boyle's new album The Gift hasn't just debuted at number one on the U.S. album chart -- it's also number one on the chart in her native U.K.  And that means she's made a bit of history.

The BBC reports that the Scottish singer is only the third musical act ever to have scored simultaneous UK and U.S. number one albums in a 12-month period.  The Monkees did it first, in 1967, and The Beatles did it again in 1969.

The BBC reports that former American Idol judge Simon Cowell, Boyle's biggest booster, was "thrilled" by the news and called her his "superwoman." Boyle first came to global attention when she sang on Cowell's show Britain's Got Talent.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Boyle Bumps Swift Out of Top Spot; 'Glee' Single Scores Big

Photo Courtesy - Columbia Records(NEW YORK) -- Last year, Taylor Swift and Susan Boyle battled each other for chart domination, with Swift's Fearless eventually pulling out a win as biggest-selling album of 2009 over Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream.  Now, it's deja vu, as Boyle's new album The Gift replaces Swift's Speak Now at number one on the Billboard album chart.

The Gift sold 318,000 copies its first week in stores, according to Nielsen Soundscan -- less than half of what Boyle's first album sold, but still good enough for a number one debut.  Speak Now drops to number two.

Elsewhere on the chart, rapper Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager enters at number three, and the latest Now compilation, Now 36, is in at number four.  Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits album debuts at number, while Cee Lo Green's The Lady Killer starts at number nine.

In other chart news, Glee's version of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" has just scored the TV show's biggest single sales week ever -- the song moved 214,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan.  Previously, the best Glee sales week was back in June of 2009, when "Don't Stop Believin'" sold 177,000 copies.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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