‘Speechless’ Susan Boyle receives honorary doctorate

Susan Boyle receives Honorary Doctorate. Picture: John Devlin

Susan Boyle receives Honorary Doctorate. Picture: John Devlin

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Singing sensation Susan Boyle said she was silenced “for the first time” in her life after bagging an honorary degree for her contribution to music.

The 54-year-old was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) for her distinction in the field.

Susan, from Blackburn, described the award as a “great privilege” and mingled with fellow graduates whom she hoped would follow in her footsteps. She said: “For the first time in my life I’m actually being quite quiet about being honoured.

“It just hasn’t sunk in yet but it will a bit later.

“It’s a great privilege. All the students in that ceremony should be really proud of themselves because graduating from the RCS will open doors.”

The award comes after Susan sold more than 22 million albums since making her name on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) in 2009.

She has had two Grammy nominations and smashed three Guinness World Records.

In 2010 she became the first female artist to have a number one album simultaneously in both the UK and the US, twice in less than 12 months.

And in 2011 she made UK music history again by becoming the first female artist ever to have three successive albums debut at number one in the UK album chart in less than two years.

No other female solo singer in the official UK charts 65-year history has achieved this within the first week of their albums being released.And yesterday Susan danced and shuffled in a manner similar to when she first appearance on BGT as she posed for photos with fellow graduates.

Natalie Spence, 22, a musical theatre graduate, said: “It’s all a bit mad. It feels great to be graduating, I didn’t ever think that I’d get here.

“It’s really nice to be doing this with Susan Boyle because we’ve all been in her choir along the way for the last few years.

“A few of us have toured and performed gigs with her in that time.”

Previous recipients of the honorary doctorate from the RCS – formerly RSAMD – include singer Annie Lennox, comedian Billy Connolly and actress Tilda Swinton.

Before presenting Susan with her degree, Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of the RCS, said: “While Susan may have come into the public consciousness through the most transient of routes, there are few artists across the entire history of popular music itself who can match her popularity, her recording achievements or the breadth and depth of her audiences.

“She has smashed music records held by the Beatles that had remained unchanged since the 1960s, achieving two simultaneous number one albums in the US and the UK in 12 months and – in 2011 – becoming the first female artist in 65 years of the UK charts to have three albums go straight to number one in succession.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Susan in person, watching her engage with people in Glasgow.

“Her connection to them is as deep and meaningful as any artist could hope for – it’s something we all strive for, to connect our stories with an audience so it is inspired, moved and transformed.”