The surprise music sensation Susan Boyle will sing for Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the U.K., a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland has confirmed. Boyle will be joined by music star Michelle McManus, who is already scheduled to sing before the Papal Mass in Glasgow.
Responding to an inquiry from CNA, Peter Kearney, director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office (SCMO), said on Wednesday, “Susan will sing.”
He added that organizers hope to release more details at the beginning of next week.
Boyle, a middle-aged Scottish woman who sang in her Catholic parish’s choir for decades, became a sensation after her appearance on a British talent show. While the show’s audience reacted with hostility to her plain-looking appearance at first, they cheered with deep appreciation after her high-caliber rendition of the song “I Dreamed a Dream.”
The singer’s first album has sold millions of copies.
Other high-profile music performers will also participate in the papal visit.
Television and pop music star Michelle McManus has been scheduled to perform before the Sept. 16 Papal Mass in Glasgow during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit.
McManus will perform “Home,” a song composed by her 22-year-old cousin Michael Brady. She will also sing the popular song “From a Distance,” the SCMO reports.
The singer became famous after winning ITV’s Pop Idol show in 2003. She is now a popular television presenter on the STV nightly show “The Hour.”
McManus has dedicated part of her time to caring for handicapped children on pilgrimage to the French Marian shrine of Lourdes.
A crowd of up to 100,000 people is expected at Bellahouston Park for the Mass and the event will have a potential broadcast audience of one billion people.
“I am truly honored to have been asked to perform at Bellahouston Park on the 16th September in celebration of the Pope’s visit to Scotland,” McManus commented. “What an amazing event to have staged here in our own country and as a very proud Scot and someone of faith I am delighted to be involved.”
Peter Kearney of the SCMO said organizers were “absolutely delighted” that the singer will perform at the Papal Mass. Her performance of a song written by her cousin will be “a very special moment” on what looks to be “a very special and historic day for Scotland.”