BWW REVIEW: Belinda Davids Channels The Voice And Heart of A Legend In THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL: THE WHITNEY HOUSTON SHOW

Reviewer: Jade Kops

Friday 2nd February 2018, 8pm, State Theatre Sydney

Belinda Davids celebrates the music and memory of Whitney Houston in THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL: THE Whitney Houston SHOW. As part of an international tour that started in 2013, this sincere and heartwarming concert, filled with crowd favourites from Houston’s extensive catalogue, delighted Sydney audiences for one night only.

Director and Producer John Van Grinsven Snr has chosen the perfect performer to recreate Houston’s sound as South African born Belinda Davids replicates the famous songs with uncanny accuracy. In addition to her amazing sound, Davids also looks like her childhood idol with legs for days, an abundance of curls and a beautiful face that radiates sincerity, emotion and enjoyment. To further reinforce the image, Davids dons an array of fabulous outfits inspired by Houston’s style and in some cases are recreations of iconic gowns. The replica of the red beaded fringe Diane von Furstenburg dress worn in 1993 for the performance of I Have Nothing at the Billboard Awards is worn whilst archive footage of the original concert is projected behind Davids, showing a pinpoint recreation of the performance down to the smallest gesture. A replica of the one sleeved Kaufman Franco white dress the singer wore at the 2009 American Music Awards stuns the audience as Davids delivers the encore I Will Always Love You and Glory! Glory!.

Davids is supported by an extremely talented, multi-national ensemble of five-piece band, backing vocalist Giselle Bouwer (South Africa), and four dancers. The band comprises Musical Director and guitarist Richie Baker (Australia), drummer Kyle Thompson (Australia), Hayden Baird (New Zealand) on saxophone, flute and keyboard, Steve Dennett (South Africa) on Bass guitar and pianist Giles Tingey (Canada). The dancers include Clasina Van Grinsven (Australia) as dance captain and Sandile Zulu, Nathan Adriaanse and Golda Rabe, all from South Africa. The vibe from all the performers is that of a cohesive and committed team that enjoy working together to bring this fabulous production to Houston’s adoring fans, having fun with cheeky little interactions throughout. There is a high level of respect between the performers for the collective talent on stage and the acknowledgement of the band and vocalists with free form solos shows off their incredible talents. The dancers are skilled in a variety of styles which range from hip-hop, breakdance and ballroom and the dance off between Zulu and Adriaanse is delightful.

Van Grinsven Snr has selected a range of Houston’s work to ensure there are high energy moments contrasted with the heartfelt ballads. Davids encourages dancing (for those in seats that allow it), singing along and even photography, increasing the audience engagement. Whilst the authorisation to record and photograph the performance is a bit annoying, resulting in audience members seeing lit up screens in front of them, it was heart-warming to look around and watch the audience singing along to the beautiful ballads like Greatest Love Of All. Van Grinsven Snr has ensured that the focus stays on the live performance with minimal use of the large screen to present images of Houston which also allows the dual performance of I Have Nothing to be even more powerful. Whilst other tribute shows provide more detail of the artists career, THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL: THE Whitney Houston SHOW focuses more on the music, assuming that the audience are familiar with Houston’s history. Instead, Davids patter includes her own connection to Houston and the music, having grown up idolising the diva, providing a more personal show without becoming self-indulgent.

Whilst THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL: THE Whitney Houston SHOW has finished it’s current Australian tour, it moves to New Zealand shortly before continuing the world tour. If it returns to Australia, go and see it, regardless of whether you are a committed Whitney fan or simply just interested in seeing a great concert.

Belinda Davids thrills in The Greatest Love of All

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

The Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne 11-27 Jan 2018

Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2 (4&1/2 rating)

Belinda Davids’ impeccable vocal control, remarkable four-octave range and thrilling tone make her an impeccable choice to channel Whitney Houston’s extraordinary voice and distinctive style.

The audience goes wild during this tribute show, The Greatest Love of All — The Whitney Houston Show, directed by Johnny Van Grinsven, as Davids pays homage to Whitney without impersonating her, performing hits from Whitney’s 29-year career that ended tragically in 2012.

The warm, engaging Davids who hails from South Africa, has an effortless, expressive and natural voice, with vocal power, precision and exceptional range that are a perfect match for Whitney’s power ballads.

The song list includes: How Will I Know, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Didn’t We Almost Have It All, I’m Every Woman, Exhale (Shoop Shoop) and Step by Step, with an exhilarating finale of I Will Always Love You.

Davids’ passionate style, rich tone and breathtaking top register bring tears to the eyes, and she even masters Whitney’s signature technique of singing a single syllable while moving between notes.

A few individuals are desperate to dance, but Davids coaxes the entire audience onto its feet to groove to How Will I Know and, later, to Dance With Somebody.

In a poignant, tear-jerking scene, Davids sings the soaring, heartbreaking I Have Nothing while, on a screen behind her, Whitney performs the same tune, wearing the same ruby gown and using the same gestures.

The tight, five-piece band, led by musical director Richard Baker, is a highlight, and Hayden Baird’s saxophone is an evocative accompaniment to Davids’ moving version of I’m Saving All My Love.

The two male acro/hip-hop dancers are diverting, although some of the other choreography is often distracting.

The radiant, accomplished but humble Davids creates emotional and electrifying moments in this production, and her voice must be heard to be believed.

Belinda Davids At Showtime At The Apollo

Author: Kylie Mar


Steve Harvey’s Showtime at the Apollo got into the holiday spirit with a little singing competition and a dash of celebrity musical performances with a Christmas twist.

Adrienne Houghton co-hosted and performed “This Christmas” before Snoop Dogg and Boyz II Men lit up the stage performing “Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto.” Rapper DMX put his own twist on the Christmas classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and Fifth Harmony performed their song “Can You See” from this year’s animated film The Star.

Meanwhile, aspiring artists who were competing for a shot to star in Harvey’s New Year’s Eve special for Fox also performed. First up was a Whitney Houston tribute act named Belinda Davis, whom the audience was a tad bit skeptical of. However, it didn’t take long for the crowd to fall in love with the South African singer, who even resembled Whitney, and her amazing voice.

Another singer who controlled the room was a New York City firefighter named Regina Wilson, whose outlook on life was changed following the 9/11 attacks. Wilson explained, “I’m gonna live my life trying to make other people feel like their life is worth something. ‘Cause that would make my life feel like it’s worth something.” Wilson sang “Hallelujah” and even brought tears to some of the audience members’ eyes.

However, it was the Jackson 5-inspired performance by the Melisizwe brothers and, specifically, their lead singer who captured Harvey’s heart. Ten-year old Zacary was so adorably mature that Harvey was totally blown away and even attempted to Darth Vader-Luke Skywalker him. Harvey told the boys, “Y’all gonna make some money. I know this is gonna come a shock to you. Give me your mic, ’cause you’re gonna be ready to fall down. Listen to me. I’m y’all’s real daddy.” Good one, Steve.

In the end, the Melisizwe brothers won the competition, which means we’ll be seeing a lot more of them as we ring in the new year!

Honour for Belinda Davids in performing The Greatest Love of All – The Whitney Houston Show

THE message of the importance of self-love and self-confidence in Whitney Houston’s song Greatest Love of All resonated with Belinda Davids even as a child growing up in South Africa’s Port Elizabeth before she knew it was a Houston song.

The middle child of seven had a gospel church upbringing, cementing her foundation for voice and love of music without ever having vocal training for her four octave range.

“It is just a natural gift,” Davids said.

“I actually knew very young just from the reactions of other people that my voice was special and unusual.”

She began singing professionally at 14 years old, becoming infatuated with Houston as so many young girls did in the 1980s.

“I cannot deny that having a beautiful ethnic woman break through and be successful in an arena that was otherwise so ‘narrow’ was inspirational,” she said.

“It gave me hope and pride.”

So when Showtime Australia conducted more than 15,000 auditions across 12 countries to find the best “Whitney” for live production The Greatest Love of All – The Whitney Houston Show, selecting Davids and her talent was inevitable.

“As a singer there is really no higher goal or honour than to sing Whitney’s catalogue,” she said.

“Her voice is the highest standard for singers and her hit songs were penned by the best songwriters in the world. But above that, I just love her, I’ve always loved her and every night that I step on stage I truly feel that I am paying homage to a personal hero of mine.

“We’ve worked very hard to create a world-class show with quality production values, so it’s spectacular to experience in that sense but also it’s just a great celebration of Whitney music.”

Davids said she hoped her performance helped audiences revisit fond memories of the incredible artist Houston was and how much she contributed to the soundtrack of a generation.


What: The Greatest Love of All – The Whitney Houston Show

Where: Crown Theatre Perth

When: January 9, 2018


Written by Tanya MacNaughton
Original source: click here


Belinda Davids, who was crowned winner of BBC1s Even Better Than The Real Thing for her Whitney Houston act, has announced she will be embarking on a tour next year.

Her show The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show, will come to Birmingham Symphony Hall on April 15, 2018.

Belinda Davids featured on the first episode of the BBC1 show, hosted by Paddy McGuinness, on Saturday night (September 16).

She beat tribute acts of George Michael, Little Mix and Dolly Parton to be crowned the winner.

In 2012, Belinda auditioned against over 15,000 hopefuls from all over the world to play the part of her idol, Whitney Houston in a new show designed to showcase her incredible legacy.

The show opened to critical acclaim and has since toured the globe.

This brand-new show will have over two hours of show-stopping Whitney classics including hits such as I’m Every Woman, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, How Will I Know and I Will Always Love You.

The tribute to the pop icon will also feature the National Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, multiple costume changes and a team of dancers.

The tour kicks off in Glasgow on 12 April 2018, before Newcastle, Liverpool, and then Birmingham, and to London, Cardiff, Southend, Manchester and Belfast.

BY  (Birmingham Mail)

We talk to Whitney Houston Tribute Show star Belinda Davids

 2017-06-13 20:00

Belinda Davids


For the single mom from Port Elizabeth, starring in The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show is the culmination of a life-long connection with the superstar to whom she pays homage.

Belinda Davids

Do you remember hearing your first Whitney Houston song?

I remember doing my Whitney song when my primary school teacher in Port Elizabeth, Mr Schuster, told me to learn the lyrics to The Greatest Love of All. It was at Alpha Primary in the canteen and I learnt how to sing it, for a school concert. And then I heard her sing Hold Me with Teddy Pendagrass. And I knew that’s what I was going to sound like for the rest of my life.

When did you start singing? 

I clearly remember being able to sing since 5 and professionally it started when I was 14.

What made you fall in love with her music?

I grew up singing in church and when I heard her the first time I loved that her voice was so pure and clean and crisp and clear and gospel.

Belinda Davids

When did you first perform a Whitney song? And what was the feedback?

I sang the The Greatest Love of All at my primary school concert and it was very special. and the response was very special.

What can people expect from The Greatest Love of All Tour?

We have a great live band, four amazing dancers, five great costumes that resembles Whitney style as well as great lighting effects. We will be doing her greatest hits from the time she started right up until the end, and of course, Whitney will be there at the show.

Belinda Davids

What goes into your wardrobe and makeup to achieve that Whitney look?

Not much I guess. I’m lucky in the sense that I look a bit like her. So I really just use her colours in make up and of course the costume resemble her onstage style.

How does it feel to be able to pay homage to one of the world’s biggest stars?

She was the world’s biggest star and also my idol. There was only ever one person that was called “The Voice” and to be able to still sing somewhat like her is surreal. It can be overwhelming sometimes and its what I have been practicing for, for 25 years. And so its an absolute honour to remind people of how absolutely great she was.

Belinda Davids

Port Elizabeth born Belinda Davids as Whitney Houston

Belinda Davids was born in Port Elizabeth, and began performing professionally at the age of 14. She has never had vocal training and is blessed with a four-octave vocal range, which allows her to sing any genre. Belinda’s inspirations as a child were Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Donny Hathaway, Michael Jackson and the one artist she honours in every show is Whitney Houston.

As a young girl one of the very first LPs Davids owned was a song called Hold Me by Teddy Pendergrass and Whitney Houston. The quality and style Whitney portrayed in this song struck a cord and Davids’ fascination with the icon grew. She sang Whitney’s music at every chance: at family gatherings, talent competitions and to friends while playing on the street. Like many young girls at that time, her bedroom walls were plastered with posters and magazine cut-outs Houston.

As a young woman Belinda had the burning desire to live out her dreams and follow in her idol’s footsteps. She took on the club circuit and her performances left many people amazed at how similar she sounded to Houston. In the mid ’90s Belinda caught the eye of record executives at Tusk Records, which spawned the album, Belinda Davids. Three of the songs on this album, which Belinda wrote, were released as singles, one of which reached number one in SA.

Davids promoted her album all over South Africa for a number of years at various hotels, clubs cabarets. She opened shows for many international acts when they visited South Africa including Michael Jackson’s History Tour, The Manhattans, The Temptations and Peaches and Herbs.

In Cape Town, on 10 January 2014, Davids will appear in “The Greatest Love Of All – The Whitney Houston Show” presenting and celebrating a catalogue of Houston’s most-loved songs that span her 29-year career. In respect for Houston’s legacy, Showtime Management dedicated over 12 months to creating the show, first to finding the perfect star, and then to perfecting the production. It took over 15,000 auditions in 12 countries to find the right voice, and finally our very own South African Belinda Davids emerged as the front-runner.

No stranger to the music scene herself, Davids, began her professional singing career as a solo recording artist and later became a support act and backing vocalist for acts such as The Temptations, Keri Hilson, Keyshia Cole, Monica and Johnny Gil. She has always loved Whitney Houston’s music and feels it’s this passion that gives this show a personal, heartfelt feel.

Over the years Davids has become so accomplished at Houston’s music that while performing I Will Always Love You in Hong Kong a few years ago, she received a request to sing without her backing band as the audience was convinced she was lip-syncing to the original Whitney Houston track – after which she received a standing ovation!

Exposed mainly to R&B and gospel as a child, Davids was innately drawn to Houston’s musical style, and paid homage to her idol through her dress and hairstyle and by including Houston songs in almost all her live shows.

Whitney Houston tribute artist from South Africa to tour New Zealand

South African performer Belinda Davids was just 8-years-old when she first heard Whitney Houston sing. Years later, she spends her days belting out Houston’s songs and championing her legacy.

“I actually sang Greatest Love Of All when I was much younger, but I didn’t know it was her at the time.”

Davids is bringing her tribute act, The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show, to New Zealand to share the diva’s music with fans from Whangarei to Blenheim.

“We performed a small selection of shows in New Zealand in 2013, and three years later we are still getting letters and messages from those audiences begging us to return.”

* I will always love my idol
* Whitney tour a true labour of love
* Whitney Houston tribute artist heading for New Plymouth

The purpose of her show is to celebrate and honour Houston, Davids says.
“I am a fan, I love Whitney. I was a little girl who grew up with her songs and idolised her like so many others.”

Sharing that with people worldwide who miss their musical idol is always special, she says.

Davids still remembers where she was when Houston died.

“I was home in Cape Town. It was a terribly hard day. I still to this day have to hold back tears when I sing I Will Always Love You because it’s so emotional for me and I miss her so much.”
Although she is connected to certain songs for different reasons, she does not have a favourite Houston song.

“I actually don’t like to pick a favourite. I find when I listen to one song I’m compelled to listen to another and another and another.”

R&B chart-toppers such as Anita Baker and Chaka Khan are also among Davids’ idols, but she says Houston’s pure, clear and clean singing style set her apart from other artists at the time.

“[Houston] and [producer] Clive Davis had the brilliant ability to cross over from pop to R&B, and she delivered both in ways no-one can today.”

The reason Davids only portrays Houston is down to the show already being a concept, created by Showtime Australia chief executive and director John Van Grinsven, when she won the lead role.
“I think Whitney deserves her own show anyway,” Davids says.

Before Davids started rehearsing for the show, she studied Houston for three months. In the week before touring, she sings every day for more than four hours.

Davids has a four-octave vocal range, which means she can sing both unusually low and high notes in tune. This is a big advantage, as Houston had the same range abilities.

Davids has seven outfit changes in the show, but there are plenty more options in her repertoire.

“We change them up as needed. They’re all exquisite custom-made outfits, some of them replicas of iconic Whitney dresses, and some with hours worth of hand-beading. They are very glam.”

Graced with similar looks to Houston, Davids doesn’t spend much time in the make-up chair.

“I’m lucky in the sense that we look similar so it takes me only two hours to get ready, which seems a long time, but compared with some performers it is relatively quick.”


* August 5: Forum North, Whangarei

* August 6: Turner Centre, Kerikeri

* August 9: Baycourt Addison Theatre, Tauranga

* August 10: TSB Showplace, New Plymouth

* August 11: Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland

* August 12: The Opera House, Wellington

* August 14: Southward Theatre, Paraparaumu

* August 16: Aurora Centre, Christchurch

* August 18: Theatre Royal, Nelson

* August 21: ASB Theatre Marlborough, Blenheim

Belinda Davids’ tribute to Whitney

The State Theatre in Pretoria will be the place to be for lovers and Whitney Houston fans when South African singing sensation Belinda Davids makes her debut at Africa’s largest theatre complex.

Cape Town-based Davids will kick-start her 2016 tour The Greatest Love of All at The State Theatre from Tuesday until February 14, giving hopeful romantics enough time to savour Valentine’s Day.

The Port Elizabeth-born singing sensation is living her dream by serenading the world with Houston classics. She has been received amid rave reviews for her show-stopping performances in places such as Dubai, Cape Town, New Zealand and the US for The Greatest Love of All – The Whitney Houston show.

Davids’ stage act has been perfected and resembles inch perfect the legendary Houston, this after she first had a sold out six-week run in Johannesburg in 2013 and subsequent tours to Dubai, Cape Town, New Zealand and the US. The show will delight Pretoria audiences the same way it has done the rest of the world.

The organisers have promised those making their way to the State Theatre “drama, charm, class and unparalleled musical aptitude”.

Davids as always will be accompanied by a live band as well as dancers who will add a sprinkle of flair onto the stage.

Houston fans will get to sing along to all-time favourites such as How Will I Know, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Didn’t We Almost Have it All, I’m Every Woman, Exhale, Step by Step and I Will Always Love You.

Davids won the hearts of the judges when she was chosen among 15000 hopefuls from auditions that happened around the world. Showtime Australia, the management company behind the show, spent more than 12 months perfecting the production and finding their lead singer. They visited 12 countries in the process that culminated in our very own Davids being chosen as the ideal candidate to bring Houston back to life through music.

As a singer, Davids has a long-standing, successful career as a solo recording artist, supporting act and backing vocalist. Her love for Houston’s music is also evident in her own work and comes through strongly throughout The Greatest Love of All.

She grew up Port Elizabeth, listening to Houston’s albums and echoing Whitney’s style not only in her musical taste, but also in the way she dressed and even her hairstyle. She is a true Houston fan and uses each of her performances to pay homage to her idol.

Davids has shared the stage with the likes of Deborah Cox, Kelly Price and Tina Marie.

Siyabonga Sithole