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Why Susan Boyle?

The Intersection
By Sheril Kirshenbaum
Apr 20, 2009 1:06 PMOct 24, 2019 4:51 PM


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By now, you’ve surely heard of Susan Boyle. Her performance has been watched by over 30 million people and finally made the NYTimes.  So why has one middle aged woman from Scotland captured everyone’s heart?

Perhaps it’s because she made the music industry’s veritable Scrooge smile like a child on Christmas morning.

Or is it hat we love to root for the underdog and she’s a modern Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger and real life Jamal Malik?

Maybe the carbon copy image of what stars should be finally got so overexposed, the public is bored to tears with more of the same.

No, I think all of that matters, but Susan struck a chord because in this troubled world, she represents the perseverance of the human spirit. We got to watch as the most unlikely individual rose to become a celebrated 21st century muse.  No matter how fickle fame is–or who Ms. Boyle turns out to be–we share in her moment of triumph.

So why this woman?  Because for a few minutes in 2009–perhaps more so than Obama himself–Susan Boyle personified hope.

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