EVEN BETTER THAN THE REAL THING TV SPECIAL

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

BELINDA DAVIDS (PHOTO: SUPPLIED)

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.”

READ MORE:
* 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.
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“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.”
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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.”

THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL: THE WHITNEY HOUSTON SHOW

* 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