Susan Boyle
In less than three minutes, her life changed forever.

On January 21, 2009, Susan Boyle, a 47-year-old church volunteer from Scotland, stepped onstage to audition for a spot on England's hit TV show Britain's Got Talent. She stood before the audience, judges and television viewers and shared her dream—to be a professional singer.

Some people snickered. Others rolled their eyes. But when Susan belted out the first line of the Les Miserables anthem "I Dreamed a Dream," jeers turned to cheers. Her showstopping performance, which has been viewed more than 120 million times on YouTube, captured people's hearts and catapulted her to stardom.

"It was one of the most extraordinary moments of the entertainment world in 2009," Oprah says.

Before this moment, however, Susan's life was far from extraordinary.