Why Susan Boyle Still Feels 'Judged or Misunderstood' 10 Years After Her Unforgettable Audition
"I kept thinking to myself, well my five minutes must surely be up, but 10 years on, I’m still going," Susan Boyle tells PEOPLE
For Susan Boyle, celebrating 10 years in the entertainment business is an absolute dream come true.
“I think the biggest surprise is that I’m still going after 10 years,” Boyle, 58, tells PEOPLE.
“Fame is such a bizarre concept and has never been my motivator. I just want to sing for people and give them joy, happiness, suspend reality for a brief time and entertain,” she admits.
A decade ago, in April 2009, Boyle shocked audiences around the world with her unforgettable rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” for her Britain’s Got Talent audition.
“Because [fame] happened so quickly, you worry that it will disappear as quickly as it all began. For the first few years that was a constant worry I had, that this dream, this amazing journey that I was on and I worried it would disappear overnight,” Boyle recalls. “You hear the cliché ‘five minutes of fame’ and I kept thinking to myself, well my five minutes must surely be up, but 10 years on and I’m still going, which is probably as much a shock to me as everyone else.”
This year, Boyle kicked off her 10-year anniversary by recreating her memorable audition while competing on America’s Got Talent: The Champions in January, even earning former judge Mel B‘s Golden Buzzer.
While Boyle reveals she has created a strong bond with her fans, there is one particular element in her life she wishes audiences would try to understand a bit better.
Speaking of her Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism which she made public in late 2013, the star reflects on how the condition has affected her career and personal life.
“I knew of the diagnosis for a year before I decided to go public. It gave me time to learn and understand and really for everything to fall into place as to why emotionally things were overwhelming and why small things, like people getting into my personal space, would cause me so much anxiety,” Boyle says.
“It’s not crippling — it was an adjustment but also a relief. Being born in 1961, we didn’t have the medical advances we do now, so my parents were told I was brain-damaged at birth,” she shares.
“I think people who are aware of Asperger’s understand why I do things but to others who don’t I still feel I’m judged or misunderstood or spoken down to. People with Asperger’s struggle emotionally, not intellectually,” Boyle says, adding, “I just deal with situations a little differently but slowly and surely I’m learning and I have excellent coping mechanisms. I have learned to talk out my upsets and what is bothering me which has been so helpful.”
And there’s no stopping Boyle anytime soon.
Boyle is gearing up for another milestone: a new album, titled TEN, in celebration of her decade-long career.
“It’s a look back over the last decade of my music with four new tracks that have never been heard before that I decided to keep a surprise for fans,” Boyle previously told PEOPLE. “There are very few surprises in life anymore, and well I surprised everyone 10 years ago when I stepped on the BGT stage, so I thought 10 years on let’s surprise them again.”
Boyle added, “I’m looking forward to what 2019 holds for me. I’m going to be a busy lady, but as I always say, ‘Bring it on!’ “