Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Susan Boyle

Before she had the biggest-selling debut album in the history of the U.K. charts, frumpy Susan Boyle was YouTube's darling.

In April, British television viewers watched the middle-aged Scottish woman astonish a live audience (and difficult-to-impress judge Simon Cowell) with a rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" on Britain's Got Talent. Days later, YouTube users in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world wept for joy at the storybook success (however carefully crafted by the reality show's producers) of the simple woman with the bushy eyebrows and crystal-clear voice.

Sure, she lost the final competition to some dancing kids. And she succumbed more than once to the emotional pressure that comes with sudden fame. But with her record selling well, she said she doesn't want it to end.

Adding up the various posts on YouTube, the number of views of her first TV appearance hovers at about 100 million. With a statistic like that, she's the most viral of them all, and no list of the year's viral hits can exclude her.