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.

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