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Why Simon Cowell Says Susan Boyle Changed the Rulebook on Pop Stardom

Cowell reflected on Boyle's ultra-viral Britain's Got Talent Audition nearly 15 years later. 

By Jackie Manno

Nearly 15 years after Susan Boyle's viral Britain's Got Talent Audition, Judge Simon Cowell is reflecting on how Boyle transformed how people perceive fame and talent for the better. 

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“I’ll never forget this,” Cowell told Terry Crews while re-watching a clip from Boyle's original BGT Audition during an episode of America's Got Talent. (Fans will remember Boyle sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Mis and stunned both the Judges and audience.) “I was having a terrible, terrible day, and I remember saying, ‘I really, really hope she’s not gonna sing,’ because there were so many bad singers that day and I thought, ‘I just can’t take another one.’” 

However, when Boyle opened her mouth to sing, she sounded like a pure angel and wowed everyone.

"Our expectations were quite low, but she is the perfect example of never judge a book by its cover," Cowell said.  "She is just the most incredible person. This was a lady who lived on her own in Scotland, and she came on the show and everything changed. Because up until that point, there was a perception that you had to look this way, or be this age, and she just changed the rulebook. Full stop." 

RELATED: What Happened to Legendary Britain's Got Talent Singer Susan Boyle? Where She Is Now

Susan Boyle on fame and working with Simon Cowell

Susan Boyle performing on stage.

In a 2019 interview with People, Boyle had nothing but nice things to say about Cowell. “Simon is the biggest inspiration in my career. He’s been my boss for almost 10 years, and I strive to make him proud. He inspires me to continue and strive for perfection,” she said. 

RELATED: Susan Boyle's Cover of ABBA's "The Winner Takes It All" Is Jaw-Dropping

She then went on to discuss what she loves so much about performing. “I’m in my own little bubble on the stage, conveying a story and it really is my happy place,” she said. “I get great enjoyment making the audience happy. My career has never been about earning money or really even chart positions, I just love to be on stage and singing.”

Susan Boyle performing on America's Got Talent.

She was then asked about how she remains so humble given her massive success. “I don’t ever want to become a diva and I think having a good group of people around you ensures you don’t," she said. "I still live in the same house I grew up in, I don’t need a huge mansion for just myself, and I still like to take the bus or walk to the supermarket and choose what I’m having for my dinner."

She continued, “I think it’s all about not believing the hype. I’m still me, the wee woman who stepped on the BGT audition stage almost 10 years ago and I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world and perform in wonderful places, but then I get to go home and just be me again, I get the best of both worlds!”