Whether you’re a fan or not you have to admit that the resounding success of Susan Boyle shoots down nearly every piece of advice given to most aspiring artists that hope to achieve even a modicum of success. There are many horror stories of people-mostly women-that have been rejected by the powers that drive Music City or other entertainment hubs because "they didn’t take their career seriously" enough to work out and starve themselves into the size of a platinum toothpick or because they rejected "having work done" to make them more physically appealing.
She Dreamed A Dream
The rate at which people continue to buy the Scottish diva’s I Dreamed a Dream is staggering to the point of potential broken records. According to Nielsen SoundScan, sales jumped to well over 500,000 copies last week, securing Susan Boyle’s spot at number one on Billboard’s Top 200 for the fifth week in a row. The only album projects to sell in excess of 500,000 copies in the first five weeks of their release are Sevens by Garth Brooks, the Black and Blue by the Backstreet Boys, and The Beatles 1 compilation anthology that was released in November 2000.
The Lancing Boyle
She is marketing’s nightmare because everything goes against the grain. Boyle clearly lances a huge gaping hole clear through demographics studies that indicate that you have to be perfect and pretty to appeal to the masses. Boyle’s appearance is so plain and simply down to earth that perhaps that’s what resonates with a part of the public that has resisted buying music for years.
To her credit, Boyle has some pretty impressive pipes. So it’s refreshing to see an artist make it as a singer because she has a strong voice. But Boyle also has a strong following among baby boomers, a sector of the market that for the most part has not been a huge part of the mainstream target for decades.
And perhaps it is Boyle’s unpretentious sense of style, her anti-glitz, no frills-glamour, and no bling-thing that she has going that strikes a chord with the public. Many see her as one of them, while at the same time she appeals to some younger, hipper fans as a novelty act or anti-hero of sorts.
Blast That Bloody Mold
It is fun to see those that try to predict trends or even dictate them be stymied by Ms. Boyle’s no frills belting and crooning for the love of music and the sake of the song. Perhaps her rise to fame is a call to take a closer look at singers by first closing our eyes and listening with our hearts, minds, and imaginations to see what’s stirred, stimulated, and otherwise desired.
Boyle Shakes Up The Melting Pot
The bottom line is Susan Boyle is outselling the likes of Mary J. Blige, and many other top performers. We need to stop and evaluate what it is that she appeals to, honor and respect that, and be encouraged by somebody making it that shakes up everything that’s superficial and challenges what we define as hip, deep, appealing, and of substance. Here’s to more diversity in our musical tastes. Here’s to more artists making it that reflect not just who we want to be, but affirm who we really are. Let’s hope that anyone who has a heart and gift for singing, and has the desire to use their gift to uplift, enlighten, inspire and entertain, is encouraged to pursue their dream of sharing their gift to its fullest potential.
Believe What’s Yours Endures
The bottom line in all this is to know yourself; to be yourself, and to build on that as you comfortably see fit. Develop your singing potential to its greatest measure. Be good to yourself. Take care of yourself. Keep your sense of humor, and never get so seriously cynical that you become self-destructive or resentful of those who become successful. Don’t compromise your values and morals. You are unique – let that be your starting point and your spiritual point of reference as you pursue your dreams!