Singer living ‘Whitney’ dream

Yoliswa Sobuwa

AS a teen, singer Belinda Davids dreamt of following in her idol’s footsteps. Now, the Port Elizabeth-born performer from Gelvandale is singing that idol’s greatest hits after she landed the lead role in Showtime Australia’s The Greatest Love of All, a tribute to the late Whitney Houston.

Davids, 36, was chosen from more than 15000 people in 12 countries who auditioned for the role.

“I am over excited with this role. I was always inspired by Whitney Houston from a very young age. When I heard about the auditions I knew that this was my chance to shine,” Davids said.

“One of the first LPs I ever owned as a young girl was a song called Hold Me by Teddy Pendergrass and Whitney Houston. I was impressed by the quality and style portrayed by Houston in this song.”

Davids, a former Gelvandale High School pupil, has never had vocal training. She began performing professionally at the age of 14.

“I used to sing Whitney’s music every chance I got, during family gatherings, talent competitions and also for my friends. Even my room was plastered with posters and cut-outs from magazines of Whitney. I even copied her dress sense and hairstyle,” she said. Davids joined Tusk Records in the mid-1990s and released an album, Belinda Davids.

After spending a few years opening for international acts visiting South Africa, including Michael Jackson’s on his “History” tour, The Manhattans, The Temptations and Peaches and Herbs, she decided to expand her music career abroad which saw her travelling to Dubai, London and Hong Kong where she performed in major hotels and clubs.

She then settled in Los Angeles with the aim of getting her solo career back on track.

She has appeared on The Jay Leno Show and The George Lopez Show as a back-up vocalist for US singer Monica.

Davids, who spends most of her time in Cape Town when she is in South Africa, but visits Port Elizabeth if she has time, said she was in “serious mourning” after Houston was found dead in her hotel bathtub on the eve of the Grammy Awards in February last year.

“She was the legendary woman who changed my life when I was a little girl.”

South African audiences will now be able to see Davids performing at the Joburg Theatre from May 9 to June 2 and at the Soweto Theatre on 15 May.

The show will feature several classics including Queen of the Night, Saving All my Love, I will Always Love You and many more.

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