Pop Culture

Cowell to help Susan Boyle find her voice

The good news: “Britain’s Got Talent” phenom Susan Boyle is said to be recovering well after her post-finale anxiety attack.

The bad news: Once she’s back on her feet, agenda item 1-A is to launch Boyle’s music career, thrusting her back into the very spotlight that burned her in the first place.

“There are people close to Susan who are devastated by this news,” says a source close to “BGT.” “She was so far out of her comfort zone and she could barely keep it together — that’s a fact the whole world is aware of. This has disaster written all over it.”

The tentative plan for Boyle involves having "Talent" and "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell ensure that she records albums with potential to sell well in the United States, with the hopes that buyers will see her tale as one of redemption.

“She doesn’t want to say no to recording,” says the source. “But everything else that comes with it? Concerts, television appearances? This is not what’s best for her. There has to be a way where she can sing and be financially secure, and not have to sacrifice her well-being.”

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    Susan Boyle Signs Her New Album At HMV Glasgow

    Susan Boyle wows the world

    Scottish singing sensation captures attention around the globe and deals with the pressures of instant fame.

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    Holiday offering

    Scottish singer Susan Boyle attends a photocall to announce a charity single for Save the Children at Sony Music in London on Oct. 28, 2013.

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    Sacred visit

    Boyle holds a banner with an image of the Virgin Mary as she poses for a photograph in a hotel during her pilgrimage to the city of Lourdes, France, on May 21, 2013.

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  • Susan Boyle Signs Her New Album At HMV Glasgow

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    Her 'Standing Ovation'

    Boyle attends an album signing at HMV in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 20, 2012. Dozens of fans lined up to get signed copies of her new album titled "Standing Ovation."

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    Great pride

    Boyle attends the Pride of Britain awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Oct. 29, 2012.

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  • Image: Susan Boyle Launches Poppy Scotland Appeal

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    Poppy appeal

    Boyle and the Scottish Military Wives choir launch the Poppy Scotland appeal in Glasgow on Oct. 24, 2012. Boyle and the choir called for help to raise vital funds for Scotland's Armed Forces community during the campaign.

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    Her dream

    Boyle performs during her musical "I Dreamed A Dream" at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle, England, on March 27, 2012.

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    Hearing her now

    Boyle visits SiriusXM Studio on Nov. 1, 2011, to talk up her new album, "Someone to Watch Over Me." Though the title Gershwin tune is included, much of the other selections are takes on rock tunes.

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    Lady in red

    Boyle spent time in "China's Got Talent" in July 2011, where she met Cai Hongping, a Shanghai market stall owner considered to be the Susan Boyle of China. Hongping's rendition of "Amazing Grace" on the Chinese version of YouTube garnered her 10 million hits within 10 days ... and landed her a slot on "Talent."

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  • Image: Scottish singer Susan Boyle stands with her new wax work model at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool, northern England

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    Beside herself

    A wax figure of Boyle was revealed at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool, England in April 2011... and the original apparently approves.

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  • Image: Scottish singer Susan Boyle performs at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow

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    Her 'Dream' job

    Boyle performs at a mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on Sept. 16, 2010. In a pre-Mass statement, the Scottish-born Boyle said "it's a great honor to sing for the pope and it's something I've always dreamed of."

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    Knock 'em dead, Susan

    Boyle performed "I Dreamed a Dream" on the "Dancing With the Stars" results show on Nov. 10, 2009. Accompanying her performance were professional dancers Tony Dovolani and Chelsie Hightower.

    The 47-year-old singer became a worldwide phenomenon after her rendition of the Les Miserables song on the reality TV show "Britain's Got Talent."

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    Celtic pride

    Boyle holds up a celtic scarf during the UEFA Europa League Group C soccer match between Celtic and Hamburg at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on Oct. 22, 2009.

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    Fame takes its toll

    Boyle entered The Priory, a private clinic in north London, on May 31 2009, to be treated for exhaustion according to the "Britan's Got Talent" producers and a newspaper report. Television company TalkbackThames said on June 1, 2009 that Boyle was “exhausted and emotionally drained” and was taking a few days off.

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    The pressure mounts

    Boyle leaves Wembley Plaza Hotel in London on May 27, 2009. Britain's tabloid newspapers wrote about how the singer had lost her temper and swore at two journalists who were taunting her in the days before the finale.

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    Larger than life

    Locals gather at Blackburn community center to watch Boyle on TV during the final of "Britain's Got Talent" on May 30, 2009.

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  • Fans of television show 'Britains Got Talent' singer Susan Boyle react in their local community centre in Blackburn, Scotland after it was announced that Boyle came second in the competition

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    Sad song

    Boyle fans show their frustration after she finished second in the "Britain's Got Talent" finale on May 30, 2009. Boyle's financial future is seen as secure, as Simon Cowell and his Syco music label are widely expected to sign her up for an album and there is talk of a Hollywood movie.

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  • Image: Friends Gather To Watch Susan Boyle In the Final Of 'Britain's Got Talent'

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    A little Susan in all of us

    Friends and fans at Blackburn community center show their love for Boyle. Although she lost to the dance troupe Diversity, Boyle remains a winner to millions.

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    Thumbs up, Mum!

    “I did this for my late mother,” the unemployed Boyle said about her appearance on "Britain's Got Talent." “I wanted to show her I could do something with my life.”

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    The world at her doorstep

    Boyle faces the media outside her home on Thursday, April 16, 2009.

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    Singing telegram?

    Boyle receives a well wishing message from an unidentified fan at her home on April 16, 2009. In a telephone interview, Boyle did express some impatience with questions over her love life: She raised eyebrows when she told the "Talent" audience that she'd "never been kissed." "It was said as a joke, not an advert. Can we move on?" Boyle said, laughing.

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    A new look

    Boyle, pictured outside her home in Blackburn, Scotland, reveals a new hair color and style after undergoing a makeover on April 24, 2009.

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    Wardrobe change

    Boyle returns to her home in Blackburn, Scotland, on April 21, 2009 sporting a new leather-type jacket and print dress.

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    Caught in the Web

    A young boy watches Boyle on YouTube on Monday, April 21, 2009 in Glasgow, Scotland. The boy is not alone. Millions of people around the world have watched Internet clips of Boyle singing on "Britain's Got Talent."

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  • "Britain's Got Talent" contestant Susan Boyle poses with fans outside her home in Blackburn in West Lothian, Scotland

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    Instant fame

    Boyle poses with fans outside of her home in Blackburn, Scotland, on April 21, 2009.

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    Town pride

    Locals in the town of Blackburn show their support for Boyle on April 18, 2009. To friends and neighbors in the community of 4,750 people 20 miles west of Edinburgh, it was not surprising that the talent of a local treasure should finally be recognized. “Susan can’t help herself. She just sings whenever she can sing,” said Jackie Russell, manager of Blackburn’s Happy Valley Hotel, where Boyle sings karaoke.

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    King and singing queen

    Boyle appears on "Larry King Live on April 17, 2009. She asserted that she wouldn't be opting for a new look. "Why should I change?" she said, according to the show transcript. But she conceded, when King mentioned that she's been receiving a lot of fan mail: "I certainly won't be lonely anymore."

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    Brush with fame

    Boyle poses singing with a hairbrush at her home in Blackburn, Scotland, on April 16, 2009. The unlikely star said she loves the attention and isn't bothered by those who poke fun at her unpolished appearance. "It goes with the territory. It doesn't bother me."

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It’s easy to think that Cowell and his agent, Max Clifford, who will also be part of the Boyle plan, aren't helping Boyle. The reality: their hearts are in the right place.

Look at it this way: Susan Boyle is to “BGT” what the kids of “Slumdog Millionaire” are to director Danny Boyle. In both cases, a machine bigger than any one person got these unknowns into the mess that comes with worldwide fame. Wouldn’t it seem wrong for Cowell (or Danny Boyle) to stand by as the dreams of the performers they discovered were beaten to a pulp and left on the side of the road to die?

Let's hope that Susan Boyle takes her time in recovering. That would allow some time to lapse between “BGT” and her big debut, and time might be the only way to discover the elusive middle ground between fame and ruin.

No star treatment for MadonnaMadonna was among the boldface names at the Manhattan Polo Classic May 30, but she didn’t get the boldface treatment you might expect. The singer and her sons, David and Rocco, were left without anywhere to sit at the games.

It took pharmaceutical billionaire Stewart Rahr to give up his seats for the family.

“He happily gave up his viewing couch for her and her family,” said a source close to Rahr. “There were no other seats in sight.”

In other Madonna news, Us Weekly reports she is taking cooking lessons from Jessica Seinfeld so that she can prepare meals for her rumored beau, Jesus Luz. “(Seinfeld has) taught her some Brazilian dishes,” an insider told Us Weekly.

Meanwhile, Madge’s ex, Guy Ritchie, seems content dining solo. The single director “is making more time for himself and loving life,” reports the magazine, which goes on to say that he’s still not healed from his divorce. “Guy remains shell-shocked by the whole experience with Madonna. He’s like a dog that got released from being in the pound for seven years.”

Kate Winslet and Brad Pitt, TMIThere’s a lot to be said for Hollywood mystique. Celebrities are most successful onscreen when there’s some mystery about their personal life, which is why, when they start to overshare, a scent of desperation wafts through the room.

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    Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. on the "Let's Be Cops," red carpet, Selena Gomez is immortalized in wax and more.

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    Actor Idris Elba seen on the set of :A Hundred Streets" on Aug. 8 in London.

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    Actors Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass arrive at the premiere of RADIUS-TWC's "The One I Love" at the Vista Theatre on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actor Nick Kroll arrives at the premiere of RADIUS-TWC's "The One I Love" at the Vista Theatre on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Damon Wayans Jr., Jake Johnson

    Actors Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson arrive at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    James D'Arcy arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actress Julianne Hough arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actress Hannah Simone arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actress Nina Dobrev arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    TV personality Nicole Murphy and singer Brandy Norwood attend The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception at W Hollywood on Aug. 7 in Hollywood.

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    Actress Tara Reid attends The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception at W Hollywood on Aug. 7 in Hollywood.

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    A boy gives the wax figure of Selena Gomez a kiss at the unveiling of the new new, never-before-seen Selena Gomez wax figure at Madame Tussauds New York on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show at Z100 Studio on Aug. 7 in New York.

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    Actor Mickey Rourke is seen at "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actress Jordana Brewster waves outisde of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

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    Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam attends G. Garvin Live at Buckhead Theatre on Aug. 7 in Atlanta.

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Today’s examples: Brad Pitt and Kate Winslet.

Winslet tells Allure in the June issue that when filming “The Reader,” she had to grow in the hair “down there,” so to speak. She tells Allure, “because of years of waxing, as all of us girls know, it doesn’t come back quite the way it used to. They even made me a merkin (wig) because they were so concerned that I might not be able to grow enough.”

As for Pitt, his “Inglorious Basterds” co-star Eli Roth told People that Pitt “shared that when you're sweating and don't have time to take a shower, you just take a baby wipe and rub it under your armpits.”

Too much information, folks.

Read This, Watch That: Read: about Los Angeles-based music label Friends of Friends on Good magazine’s Web site (though the magazine is worth a read in and of itself, too). The label operates under the premise that people don't want to pay money for nothing, and digital music is sort of nothing, so how can it be made into a physical product? Solution: the label dropped an album in the form of a T-shirt emblazoned with the album art and a download card imbued with plant seeds pinned to the tag. Kudos for trying something new and keeping music interesting.

Watch: “Smile Pinki,” which won the Oscar for best short documentary and airs on HBO for the first time June 3. The film tells the true story of a desperately poor girl in India whose life changes after receiving surgery to repair her cleft lip. This is a rare opportunity to see the kind of art that so often goes unnoticed, since documentary shorts typically don’t get distribution in theaters.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.

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