Scottish singer Susan Boyle: music, Asperger's and my bucket list
A quick read with someone in the public eye
The Scottish singing superstar (53), who hit the headlines after appearing on ITV show Britain’s Got Talent, is set to release her latest album next week.
Q: Congratulations of your new album, Hope. Tell us a bit about it.
A: Thank you. My album this year is actually themed on inspiration with a good mix of musical genres! I've included some great tracks on the album and I'm thrilled to be covering a Pink Floyd number. We've also got a little gospel number on there this year. I'm incredibly proud of this album, it reminds me of the first album, I Dreamed A Dream.
Q: Are you still having fun?
A: I'm having the time of my life - it's brilliant! I really do have the best job in the world - but I can't quite believe where the past five years have gone.
Q: You recently toured America for the first time. How did that go?
A: It really was great. I had the most amazing reception. We did 21 shows around the US, travelled in the tour bus and saw some great cities and wonderful people. The American audiences are so supportive. I've loved every moment and can't wait to get back on the road and tour some more.
Q: How does it feel when you think about how far you've come? Does Britain's Got Talent seem a very long time ago now?
A: In one respect, it seems like ages ago and, on the other hand, it feels like it was yesterday. I have achieved more in the past five years than I could ever have imagined. Six albums in five years, travelled the world and ticked more off my bucket list than I could have thought possible. I've met some wonderful people and had so many wonderful opportunities. I'm so very lucky and I pinch myself everyday.
Q: Last year, you announced you have Asperger's Syndrome. Do you hope to be an inspiration to others living with it?
A: I don't see my Asperger's as a disability - I see it as an opportunity for people to understand and stop prejudging. I hope that the awareness created will help other people to see that just because you have a diagnosis, it doesn't need to limit your opportunities in life. You can go out and achieve whatever you darn well want!
Q: You've performed all over the world and for extremely prestigious events. Which is the most memorable?
A: Probably the performance I did with Donny Osmond in Vegas and then the UK. He has been a childhood hero of mine and I was over the moon to be able to perform with him. Sometimes when you meet your idols you are disappointed but Donny was just the most wonderful man. What you see is what you get with him and that is a genuine man, with a lot of talent and one of the friendliest men in showbusiness. It was just an all-round brilliant experience.
Q: You came into the industry quite late in life, but did you always know you wanted to sing?
A: I think coming into the industry at my time of life was the best time. I broke the mould, so to speak. I've been singing since I was a young girl and I promised my mother before she died that I would make something of my life. So I auditioned for Britain's Got Talent and the rest, as they say, is history.
Q: You insist you won't sell the council house you grew up in. But what's the most extravagant thing you've allowed yourself to splash out on?
A: My family home I bought, and I recently bought the house next door, as well as the "Posh House" which really isn't that posh. I won't ever move out of the area, why would I? I have great friends and family there and lovely neighbours and I'm part of the community that I grew up in. You need to keep your feet on the ground and not get too big for your boots and my home town does exactly that for me. They wouldn't let me be a diva and as they were all there for me before Britain's Got Talent, I know they are real and genuine friends - not just there for the good times! I'm very lucky.