A 47-year-old Scottish charity volunteer has become an unlikely international media sensation after a stunning talent show performance, amid reports she is set to cash in with a quick record deal.
US actress Demi Moore was apparently moved to tears by the clip, while the story has been picked up around the world, with US, Australian and other broadcasters reportedly queuing up for interviews.
"Susan has clearly wowed the audience, the judges and the world with a truly fantastic performance," said Tom Kerr, leader of West Lothian council in Scotland where Boyle lives alone with a cat called Pebbles.
And, while press coverage in Britain was relatively muted, media in the United States are lapping up the story.
Global news channel CNN said it had been flooded with messages about Boyle, who was filmed tucking into a sandwich shortly before taking to the stage.
The San Francisco Chronicle, under the headline "Just Who Is The Singer Susan Boyle?" noted that "Unless you live under a rock, you know about the Scottish woman who has taken the industrialised world by storm."
"UK talent show stunned by Scottish virgin Susan Boyle," ran Australia's Herald Sun newspaper.
In Britain coverage was less high profile -- perhaps because "Britain's Got Talent" airs on private broadcaster ITV and so the story is not highlighted by rival channels.
When she began to sing, however, the panel of three judges led by music guru Simon Cowell was visibly shocked, and the audience in Glasgow rose to its feet, as her voiced soared through "I Dreamed A Dream" from "Les Miserables."
Cowell is already lining up a record deal for her, Britain's Press Association reported, while versions of the Les Miserables song she sang entered the midweek singles chart here and the iTunes chart.
US actress Moore posted the comment "It made me teary" on her Twitter page, after viewing the clip.
Boyle's success -- she is now favourite to win the British talent show -- has drawn comparisons with Paul Potts, an opera-singing mobile phone salesman who won in 2007. Potts went on to have number one albums in 15 countries.
Perhaps inevitably, the story -- in which comment on Boyle's appearance has been prominent -- triggered media soul-searching.
"On Saturday night she stood on the stage... small and rather chubby, with a squashed face, unruly teeth and unkempt hair.
"Why are we so shocked when 'ugly' women can do things, rather than sitting at home weeping and wishing they were somebody else?
"Men are allowed to be ugly and talented," she wrote, saying businessman Alan Sugar -- who stars in reality TV show "The Apprentice" -- looks "like a burst bag of flour," while chef "Gordon Ramsay has a dried-up riverbed for a face."
Boyle's performance can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY.
Source: AFP European Edition