It's been three years since unassuming Scottish singer Susan Boyle brought down the house on Britain's Got Talent with her rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream." Since then, the 51-year-old has released four studio albums (her latest, Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs from the Stage, is in stores Tuesday), performed at venues as varied as Windsor Castle to Dancing With The Stars, and become a multi-millionaire. She has even had a stage musical written about her life.
However, despite all these accolades--one thing consistently intrigues her audience. Does the famously plain-looking star, who made waves on Talent with the confession that she'd never been on a date in her life, now finally have a love life in addition to fame?
Boyle's initial onslaught of attention following her appearance on the talent show resulted in an expected response from men eager to ease her loneliness. The singer laughed self-consciously in 2009, when asked by Today's Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer if she had landed a boyfriend. "No comment, no comment," she demurred.
By 2010, SuBo had acquired a makeover, resulting in a more polished look--but still did not have a special man in her life. Exhausted by her rocket-fast ascent to fame and subsequent pressures, she found herself with little spare time for seeking romance. However, her family suggested she was still hopeful that romance would turn up.
"She would like to meet the right person. She's like any woman on earth," her brother Gerry Boyle told People that year. "Susan would be the first to admit that sometimes she feels lonely. When the lights switch off and the audience goes home, Susan is very much on her own."
In 2011, a still-single Boyle herself admitted that she longed for companionship. In a UK documentary about her new life as a star, she confessed to loneliness. "I would be lying if I said otherwise. I often say how lonely I am," she noted. "You feel it sometimes at night. You just hope the job that you've got wins you new friends and maybe one day that vital person." She added that she felt there was plenty of time still to find someone.
Enter 2012: Boyle's schedule hasn't slowed down at all, she's poised to release a new record--and she still apparently only has the companionship of her beloved cat, Pebbles. Is it that nobody has managed to catch her eye? Boyle has seemed to carry a constant torch for one man--her childhood idol.
Boyle met Osmond (who is married) toward the beginning of her career; she performed a duet with him on Dancing With The Stars, and also appeared with in Las Vegas, in October--with both appearances showcasing her endearingly flustered demeanor at singing with Osmond. "I was not only singing with my childhood idol but a legend who has been in the business for 50 years," she explained on her official website. "I'm an amateur in comparison to him! I was incredibly shy and nervous as I didn't want to mess up the performance and let Donny down." Despite her concerns, she called the moment "the time of her life."
SuBo's steadfast taste for her idol--and seeming reluctance to take a chance on someone new--shouldn't come as any surprise to those who've been following her doings of the past few years. Although she's the owner of an expensive home, she prefers to live in the much cheaper digs her late mother kept up, saying the new pad is too "posh." Her initial rush of fame in 2009 proved to be difficult for her to handle, causing her to check into a mental health hospital for several days.
In a personal essay for the Huffington Post, Boyle notes that her new album is "probably the one I am most proud of," and that she's feeling up for being more involved with promotion of the record. "I'm feeling less weary of talking to people," she notes.
Could something that simple lead to perhaps finding a boyfriend--the old-fashioned way? Time will tell.