SHE left TV viewers stunned with her performance as Whitney Houston when she won the BBC show Even Better Than the Real Thing.
Now audiences can get the chance to marvel at Belinda Davids’ voice once more as she takes The Greatest Love of All on tour around the country.
South African Belinda was captivated by Whitney Houston’s voice from the first time she heard it aged eight and as her career as a singer in her own right took off, she would always includes at least one Whitney number in the set.
This would, in turn, cause problems, as her voice is so naturally like that of the award-winning singer who died in 2012 aged just 48 that people wouldn’t believe that Belinda was singing live.
Chosen from 15,000 hopefuls, Belinda is recreating a full Whitney Houston concert experience, complete with live band and dancers.
“We replicate a live show,” she said. “We wanted to put across a full stage concert as she would do it. It is not a musical, it’s a full blown concert.”
Belinda admits that performing over 20 Whitney Houston songs on a nightly basis is a major challenge.
“There could be less difficult things for a singer to do than what I’m doing but I love it so much, it’s a labour of love,” she said.
“She was my idol which makes it even better for me. Never in wildest dreams did I ever think that I would get to perform my idol’s music; the music I’ve been listening to for over 30 years.
“To get to this point is a highlight in my career.”
Belinda’s uncanny vocal abilities shone through on the BBC TV show when she competed against some of the world’s leading tribute acts.
“I think they were a little ambitious to call the show Even Better Than the Real Thing,” she laughed. “But it did bring what I do to a new audience.”
In her show Belinda performs 20 classic Whitney Houston numbers.
“You really cannot hide with these songs,” she said. “A lifetime of singing her music has prepared me for this. Every day I have to warm up, that is so important. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to have the control and the technique and pull it off the way she did.”
“I’ve really come to like and enjoy One Moment in Time and Greatest Love of All recently but there are so many songs and they are so good to do. There is the challenge behind performing each of them them, but to be able to deliver them the way she did is so good to do. That’s what it’s so difficult to pick one song I really enjoy doing.”
Whitney will forever be associated with the power ballad I Will Always Love You which Belinda peforms at the end of the show.
“When I walk back on that stage I am just thinking ‘I have got to get through this.’ I’ve just belted through 20 songs and I’m just telling myself ‘one more, one more’.
“But the moment I start and get into it I forget everything. I forget the whole show I’ve just done; I forget I’m on five in heels and just become one with the song.
“It still has the power to affect me and I do find myself with a tear in my eye, thinking how much people miss her. But that’s the point of the show – to keep her memory alive.
“If you are going to do any Whitney Houston song you have got to do it as good as she did or don’t do it at all.”
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