Susan Boyle, the woman who shocked judges back in 2009 on Britain’s Got Talent with her powerful vocals, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland earlier in June. She was given the honor for ‘distinction in the field of music’ during a graduation ceremony.
The honor from the academy, which also teaches dance and drama, is a “great privilege,” Susan Boyle told the BBC.
Since becoming a household name in 2009, Susan Boyle has sold millions of albums, casting herself into a much different world than the one to which she was accustomed. Formerly quite frumpy and nervous, she has worked on her sense of style and learned to handle constantly being in front of large crowds.
Susan Boyle has been a regular visitor to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland throughout the past few years. She has worked with the school’s director of musical theater, Andrew Panton. He not only coached Boyle on her studio albums, but also directed both her U.S. and U.K. tours–both of which sold out.
— BBC Scotland News (@BBCScotlandNews) June 30, 2015
Several other notable musicians have received honorary doctorates from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland over the years. In addition to Susan Boyle, singer Annie Lennox, actor and comedian Billy Connolly, actress Tilda Swinton, opera singer Dame Felicity Lott, actress Geraldine McEwan, and stage and screen actor Timothy West have received the honors, too.
It’s been a treat to see Susan Boyle come out of her shell over the years. She has worked hard both professionally and socially–she suffers from mild Asperger’s Syndrome–to overcome some awkwardness, but has achieved great success on both fronts. Her honorary doctorate is further proof of her talents.