Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle has hit out at claims she has 'brain damage', instead saying she suffers from a high-functioning form of autism.
Speaking in an interview with the 'Observer', Ms Boyle said she went to see a specialist in Scotland, who told her that her IQ was above average. She was told she has Asperger's.
"I have always known that I have had an unfair label put upon me," she said, explaining that her condition made her different to her peers as a child. "That made me more determined to be where I want to be," she added.
Asperger's is defined by the National Autistic Society as having "similarities with autism, (though) people with Asperger's syndrome have fewer problems with speaking and are often of average, or above average, intelligence". It adds that they "may have specific learning difficulties", but do not usually have the "disabilities associated with autism".
Ms Boyle has sold 19 million albums worldwide, and was the first British female artist ever to have a number one album in both the UK and the US charts simultaneously.
"Asperger's doesn't define me," she told the 'Observer'. "It's a condition that I have to live with and work through, but I feel more relaxed about myself."
The singer has previously admitted she suffered from depression when she was younger, and said she feels there is less of a stigma surrounding mental illness than there used to be. (© Independent News Service)