12/04/2009 10:31 AM

Who would ever have thought it? The Scottish 'plain Jane' born with learning difficulties and the blind tenor from Italy will compete for most popular album in the world over the next few weeks.

Billboard magazine has just reported that Susan Boyle and Andre Bocelli are in a close battle for the hearts and minds of Americans and people everywhere for the top selling Christmas release this year.

Both are expected to have sale in the U.S. of between 375,0000 and 400,0000 by the end of this week. That will put Susan Boyle's total sales well over the one million mark, having sold 700,000 the first week. Bocelli is not far behind.

It is an extraordinary race between two performers who have triumphed despite incredible tragedy and uphill struggles in their lives.

Bocelli's album is called 'My Christmas" and he has an extraordinary life story of his own.

According to Wikipedia, it was evident at birth that he had problems with his sight, and after visits to many doctors Bocelli was diagnosed with glaucoma.

In 1970, at the age of 12, he completely lost his sight after an accident during a soccer game.

As a young boy, Bocelli showed a great passion for music. His mother, Edi, has said that music was the only thing that would comfort him. Despite his disability, he became a lawyer, and later one of the world's great tenors.

Susan's story is also well known and is just as amazing. Both are incredibly popular performers. Billboard says the No. 3 album will likely be R Kelly's album 'Untitled' with about 100,00o in sales.

So go Andrea and Susie, and show the world that triumph can come from tragedy, and that we should never give up on the battle.