Music

Basmah Qazi

Susan Boyle opens up about the diagnosis that changed her life

Susan Boyle opens up about the diagnosis that changed her life

In a rare interview, singing sensation Susan Boyle has revealed her struggle with Asperger’s and the “meltdowns” that haunted her early music career.

Speaking to A Current Affair’s Tracey Grimshaw, the star revealed how her life took a drastic turn after Britain’s Got Talent – and not in a good way.

After catapulting to fame in 2009 following her audition wowing judges and audiences alike, the artist’s rendition of I Dreamed A Dream quickly went viral around the world.

But while the newfound attention was exciting, it also came with a host of negative headlines, with allegations of diva behaviour and “meltdowns” gaining traction as quickly as her performance had.

Struggling with the instant fame, Boyle told Grimshaw that she “didn’t have the tools to deal” with overnight fame.

“I hadn’t had any kind of formal training on how to deal with the media and stuff like that … there was a lot of surprises in the early days,” she said.

“I didn’t really know what was going to happen. But I’m a bit more relaxed now, I take it all in my stride.”

When it all became too much to handle, Boyle’s manager and publicist Nicola Philips stepped in and hasn’t left the singer’s side ever since.

“I don’t think anyone would when you’re being publicly assassinated and being called names, no-one is going to deal with that very well,” said Philips.

“Especially when you’ve come from a provincial town in Scotland and you have spent your life in cotton wool. So it was dealing with that shock. Obviously it upset her like it would upset anybody.”

Philips also shutdown suggestions saying that the musician should stop singing altogether due to the overwhelming amount of pressure.

“See I completely disagree,” she told Grimshaw. “She’s always said in terms of nerves that anxiety, the nerves of performing is what positions her into the place to get on stage, it focuses her. She loves it and she has an amazing life.”

Boyle revealed that she’s learnt “how to chill myself out more”, after her Asperger’s diagnosis in 2012 changed her outlook on life.

“That was a relief for me because for years I thought I had something a bit more serious, you know, so that sort of took it off my shoulders a bit,” admitted the singer.

“You just have to make people aware that somethings you have to go to a certain pace and don’t be too bombarded with things. At the very beginning I was very bombarded.”

Boyle was under the assumption that she had brain damage, but once she received her diagnosis, decided to go public to raise awareness of Asperger’s.

“There’s nothing to keep secret, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, everybody has something, a flaw if you like,” she said.

“But you shouldn’t be ashamed of it, it’s something to bring out in the open and hopefully you help other people.

“I like to feel I’ve been a voice for other people who have been the underdog and I wanted to try and prove myself.”

After a long hiatus, Boyle is now ready to get back on stage as she returns to the spotlight with a new album and a UK tour.

Boyle nabbed herself a record deal after coming runner-up on Britain’s Got Talent. Her debut album I Dreamed A Dream became the UK’s fastest-selling debut album of all time.