Susan Magdalane Boyle first appeared as a contestant on reality TV programme Britain's Got Talent on 11 April 2009, singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables ~ a performance that blew the initially-skeptical judges and audience away.
Global interest in Boyle was triggered by the contrast between her powerful voice and her plain appearance on stage. The juxtaposition of the audience's first impression of her with the standing ovation she received after her performance led to an international media and Internet response.
Within nine days of the audition, videos of Boyle — from the show, various interviews, and her 1999 rendition of "Cry Me a River" — had been watched over 100 million times, an online record. Despite the sustained media interest, she later finished in second place in the final of the show, behind dance troupe Diversity.
Boyle's first album, I Dreamed a Dream, was released on 23 November 2009, and has become Amazon's best-selling album in pre-sales, debuting as the number one best-selling CD on charts around the globe. Its first single is a cover of the Jagger/Richards song "Wild Horses." The album includes "You'll See," "I Dreamed a Dream" and "Cry Me a River".
According to Billboard, "the arrival of "I Dreamed a Dream" marks the best opening week for a female artist's debut album since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991."
For bringing an instant smile, for raising the hair on the back of anyone's neck upon watching her perform, for being an underdog that outperformed everyone's expectations on first view, SENATUS would like to honour Susan Boyle as 2009 Personality of the Year.