Susan Boyle sings “You Raise Me Up” for her largest American audience, taking it to new heights

Joel Osteen is the pastor at the Lakewood Church, a mega-church in Houston, Texas that used to be a sports arena. Putting the controversies of the televangelist aside, there’s no denying that his weekly words pack quite a punch to millions of people who attend his sermons or watch them on television.

But this isn’t about religion, it’s about music.

Osteen and his wife Victoria invited Britain’s Got Talent’s surprise sensation Susan Boyle to the church on November 17, 2013 for her largest-ever live performance in the US. She performed at 2 of their Sunday services for a live crowd of over 43,000 people.

Screenshot via NorCalKay/YouTube Source: Screenshot via NorCalKay/YouTube

The church was Boyle’s first stop on the U.S. promo tour for her fifth album as well as her film debut in “The Christmas Candle.”

She sang three songs for those in attendance (as well as the millions of people watching the recordings) – “Miracle Hymn” from the soundtrack for “The Christmas Candle,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and “You Raise Me Up.”

Screenshot via NorCalKay/YouTube Source: Screenshot via NorCalKay/YouTube

While “You Raise Me Up” was originally composed by the Norwegian-Irish duo Secret Garden, it’s the 2003 cover by Josh Groban that made it famous. In fact, Boyle’s is one of over 100 covers of the song!

Later, in 2014, she officially recorded the song with the Lakewood Church Choir on her album Hope, so it appears she maintained some relationship with Osteen’s organization after her performance.

Just one YouTube clip of her performance – uploaded by what appears to be a Boyle fan channel – has garnered over 5.7 million views. That’s aside from Osteen’s airing of her visit!

Screenshot via NorCalKay/YouTube Source: Screenshot via NorCalKay/YouTube

The tens of thousands of people present were mesmerized by Boyle’s voice, which was accompanied by the church’s choir.

In her normal, humble fashion, she paid tribute to their vocals during the performance.

Screenshot via NorCalKay/YouTube Source: Screenshot via NorCalKay/YouTube

It’s a fantastic cover in part because the chorus’ vocals are just as powerful as Boyle’s. They definitely lend an otherworldly air to the song.

Viewers were inspired by the whole performance.

“When I feel down and out it’s like her angelic voice is letting me know everything will be alright..god bless you Susan,” said one commenter.

Screenshot via NorCalKay/YouTube Source: Screenshot via NorCalKay/YouTube

People who were in attendance also took the opportunity to rewatch her performance and comment on the video:

“I had the privilege of attending both of the service on Nov. 17, 2013. It was the first time for me to hear Susan Boyle singing live, and it was well worth it! Her voice soared as she sang. God has truly blessed this wee woman from Scotland. She is a gift to all of us.”

While she has laid low for a few years, Boyle released her 8th album – titled Ten – in the summer of 2019. It was a celebration of her favorite recordings of the previous decade.

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According to Billboard, Boyle returned to the stage in 2019 when she performed “Wild Horses” on NBC’s America’s Got Talent: The Champions to celebrate the album’s release.

“I am really proud of this album, it has my favorite tracks from over the years and I hope you get as much joy out of it as I have had working on it and choosing the songs,” Boyle said in a statement about Ten.

Be sure to scroll down below to see Boyle’s beautiful holiday performance.

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Source: NorCalKay via YouTube, Susan Boyle Fans International, Inc. via Facebook, Billboard