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Susan Boyle Spent Tough Childhood in Modest Home & Still Lives There despite Multi-Million Fortune

Olawale Ogunjimi
May 11, 2022
03:00 P.M.
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For Susan Boyle, a two-time Grammy nominee, life really began when she was over 40, after a tragic loss that catapulted her to her dream. Although she experienced a tough childhood, the singer was blessed with a loving family, whose memories she cherishes by living in their modest home. 


Susan Boyle's life is proof that fame can come to anyone who believes and works at it, regardless of their age. The singer launched to stardom at 47, following her appearance on the third season of "Britain's Got Talent."

But before all that was a childhood marred with bullying. On April 1, 1961, Susan was born in Blackburn, Scotland, to Patrick, a WWII veteran, who worked as a miner and sang often, and Bridget Boyle, a shorthand typist who played the piano.

Susan Boyle performs during the Donny & Marie variety show at the Flamingo Las Vegas October 17, 2012. | Source: Getty Images


The couple had emigrated from County Donegal in Ireland, settling in their West Lothian house in Scotland with their kids.

Susan was the youngest of their children, and Bridget had her at 47. Unfortunately, Susan suffered oxygen deprivation, which made her develop learning disabilities.


Being different was hard, as she was teased at school, but with the help of her loving family, Susan lived a happy life, pursuing what she loved best.

Rather than wallow in her shortcomings, Susan turned to music. Thankfully, she had inherited her dad's musical genes. As a result, she became engrossed in music, participating in school productions.


Susan Boyle at AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Live Results 2" Episode 1415. | Source: Getty Images


Susan's closest comfort was music, so it was not surprising to see her participate in local competitions, which she won. She also sang in St. Joseph's Catholic Church choir and around the house as often as possible. In her words:

"I was in a lot of school productions. I sing around the house just like everybody else. I'm quite a happy person."

But with her incredible singing abilities, she never had the opportunity to showcase them beyond the local level.

Britain's Got Talent star Susan Boyle at her front door in Blackburn, West Lothian. | Source: Getty Images


Susan also hated disappointments, which according to one of her siblings, Gerard, was her greatest strength —expecting the worst so that the unexpected outcome was never shocking.

The Boyles were stunned at their youngest child's gift, and Bridget tried to persuade  her daughter to enter the "Britain's Got Talent." However, the aspiring singer thought she was too old and never considered it possible.


Britain's Got Talent star Susan Boyle, sporting a new look after undergoing a makeover, outside her home in Blackburn, West Lothian. | Source: Getty Images


Despite her learning disabilities, Susan is indeed a strong woman, and she inherited the attribute from her mother. First, she handled her father's death in 1997, and then in 2000, she lost a sister, Katheleen, aged 53, to an asthma attack.

It was hard for the family, especially for Bridget, but somehow, the matriarch was brave enough to get past the tragedy.

Susan also stepped up her role as a caregiver, becoming the best gift her mother could have wished for. Sadly, a few years later, Bridget died at 91, and this was the most brutal tragedy the singer dealt with.

Susan Boyle returns to her home in Blackburn, West Lothian on April 21, 2009 in Blackburn, Scotland. | Source: Getty Images


It wrecked Susan, who at the time was engaging in a local competition. She withdrew from the competition into her shell but still beckoned to music as her savior. In her words:

"I felt a part of me had died with her."

As if dealing with the loss was not enough, Susan, who had no job or money, was in debt and in danger of losing their home, where her childhood memories were created. 


Britain's Got Talent star Susan Boyle arrives home tonight prior to being filmed there, via satellite, for the Oprah Winfrey show. | Source: Getty Images


Although Susan felt lonely without her mother, she carried with her memories that fueled her passion for entering the "BGT" competition. 

The following year after Bridget's death, Susan applied for an audition, and in 2009, she mounted the stage in Glasgow to sing to the judges. This was her first public appearance since her mom died.

At first, no one expected to be overwhelmed, the faces of the judges and audience were enough to put out her fire.

Fans gather to watch Susan Boyle perform in the Britain's Got Talent live semi-final on a large screen in the community center in her home town of Blackburn, West Lothian. | Source: Getty Images


Still, Susan remained courageous, and she let out a powerful voice, singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical "Les Misérables."

Clips of the audition and her appearance as a semifinalist went viral, with over one hundred million views worldwide. Although she did not win the competition, the Scottish-born singer established a groundbreaking history with her albums.

Her first album, "I Dreamed A Dream," topped the Billboard Charts throughout the month of its release. It was also the second best-selling album of the year.

Susan Boyle attends the world premiere for 'England is mine' and closing event of the 71st Edinburgh International Film Festival at Festival Theatre on July 2, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. | Source: Getty Images


Subsequently, Susan released other mind-blowing albums, including "Gifted," "Someone to Watch Over Me," and "Ten." Apart from her outstanding music career, she has appeared in works like "The Christmas Candle" and "Zoolander 2."

In 2010, her autobiography titled "The Woman I Was Born to Be" was published. Indeed, Susan has remained undefeated and continues to tour the world, performing for the dignitaries. A few years after skyrocketing to fame, Susan consulted a specialist in Scotland to determine her condition. 

Susan Boyle at "America's Got Talent" Season 14 Live Show Red Carpet at Dolby Theatre on August 20, 2019 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images


The singer discovered that she had been misdiagnosed as a child; what she had was Asperger's, a form of autism. Following the discovery, she became more confident and relieved. According to her:

"It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid. I was told I had brain damage. I always knew it was an unfair label. Now I have a clearer understanding of what's wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself."

Despite the diagnosis, Susan is convinced that she can live a normal life. In 2014, the singer surprised fans with the news of her romance.

Inside Susan Boyle home. | Source:! Magazine Uk


The "BGT" alum claimed that she was involved with an American doctor she met during her tour in the country. However, the "Gifted" star refused to share further details, except that her prince charming was her age mate and a "very nice guy."

Sooner than expected, Susan revealed that they were no longer together because it was not practical, nor did it feel right at the time.


Inside Susan Boyle concise Kitchen. | Source:! Magazine Uk


Amid the glitz and glamour, Susan remained in her childhood home. During a house tour, she showcased the piano room, a concise kitchen with China wares neatly arranged, and the room she shared with her sisters.

The house also possessed a nice living room that had been worked on; she changed the flooring but left the picture frames sitting around the place.

Susan Boyle's house tour. | Source:! Magazine Uk


Susan seems happy in her modest home, and she even applied for a minimum wage job at a local betting parlor, as she was interested in working like any average person.

Apart from keeping a job, she intends to live the rest of her years in the home despite being subjected to bullies who throw stones at her house.

Inside Susan Boyle home. | Source:! Magazine Uk


However, Susan maintained that she won't move from the home and expects an apology in the future as it has happened before.

The only thing the "BGT" star is afraid of is going broke. She said the thoughts of living in poverty have made her become "sensible."

Inside Susan Boyle home. | Source:! Magazine Uk


Susan, who never married or had a child, also talked about the possibility of becoming an adoptive parent at age 53.

The singer confessed that she loves kids and hopes to have one who needs all the love she can give.



Susan is living life as carefully as possible. However, following the coronavirus period, the singer explained that she was extra cautious because of her susceptibility: she has Type 2 diabetes.

Last July, she thrilled fans with a special radio interview with Gloria Hunniford. Despite being absent for a while, Susan had sworn to continue in her fans and live up to their expectations. For the Blackburn-native, "retirement is a dirty word."