International singing sensation
By now, just about everybody has heard about Susan Boyle, the plain Scottish spinster whose extraordinary singing voice dumfounded the judges of a British talent show this week. Videos of her thrilling performance on "Britain's Got Talent" have gotten more than 18 million views on Youtube, and she is already reportedly in talks with a record label.
But what many may not know is that Boyle, an unemployed church worker who cared for her elderly mother until her death two years ago, has a lifelong history of disability. Boyle says she has learning disabilities, the result of oxygen deprivation at birth, and was bullied in school because she was slow and had frizzy hair.
"The ones who made fun of me are now nice to me," she told CBS News, "so I may have won them round." She said she hopes her arresting debut on the TV talent show will remind people not to judge by appearances.
(Photo from the [UK] Times)
UPDATE: From Deadine Scotland:
[Boyle] says she hopes the show will highlight her disability too. She said, "I was slightly brain damaged at birth, and I want people like me to see that they shouldn't let a disability get in the way. I want to raise awareness — I want to turn my disability into ability."