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FACTBOX: Scottish singer and Internet star Susan Boyle

Scottish singer Susan Boyle releases her debut album "I Dreamed a Dream" on Monday.
/ Source: Reuters

Scottish singer Susan Boyle releases her debut album "I Dreamed a Dream" on Monday.

The 48-year-old shot to fame in April when her audition on the "Britain's Got Talent" television show went on to be viewed more than 300 million times over the Internet.

Here are some facts about Boyle:

* Boyle was born on April 1, 1961, in Blackburn, Scotland. She was deprived of oxygen at birth leading to learning difficulties early on, a condition she has described as "a slight disability." She was nicknamed "Simple Susan" at school and has spoken of being bullied.

* Boyle, a devout Christian, developed an interest in singing at an early age, and honed her skills in churches and choral societies as well as local pubs.

* Before her big break, Boyle was filmed performing at a singing competition as long ago as 1984, and also appeared on a television show in the mid-1990s. The exposure came to nothing.

* She also made an early demo tape featuring two songs which she handed out to a handful of her closest friends, according to the Daily Telegraph.

* Boyle never moved out of her modest family home, and cared for her mother until she died in 2007. She remained in the house with her cat Pebbles.

* Her breakthrough came on April 11, 2009, when her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical "Les Miserables" was aired on national television. The crowd cheered her on and footage of the song has been watched more than 300 million times on the Internet, according to her official website. Her success has been partly attributed to her unkempt appearance and eccentric behavior. The British media dubbed her "the hairy angel," but within days she was a global star making front page headlines and appearing on top chat shows.

* At the end of May, Boyle lost to street dancers Diversity in the final round of Britain's Got Talent, despite being the overwhelming favorite to take the title.

* Before the final show, Boyle threatened to pull out following an altercation with journalists. Just after the finale, she was admitted to a clinic after suffering from exhaustion. Her troubles led to concerns that she, and other contestants on popular television talent shows, were not given enough help to cope with the pressures. Boyle has likened the impact of her overnight fame to a "demolition ball."

* She began recording her debut album in Edinburgh in July. Her first performance from the record was in September when she sang her version of Rolling Stones track "Wild Horses" on "America's Got Talent."

* The Sony Music album, which hits stores in Britain on Monday and in the United States on Tuesday, mixes the secular and the religious, and includes Christian classics "How Great Thou Art," "Amazing Grace" and "Silent Night."