South African singer Belinda Davids has received yet another coveted international accolade – this time in the form of the International Special Recognition Award at the UK’s National Tribute Music Awards recently held in Droitwich.
“I feel honoured to have had my life’s work and my craft recognised, especially here in the UK,” said Davids.
But this is not her first big win in Britain, having just two years ago won BBC TV’s Even Better Than The Real Thing musical contest.
“As an artist there’s nothing more rewarding than knowing that you affect people; that you make a difference in people’s lives, in whatever way that is.”
Speaking to Rehearsal Magazine shortly after her BBC TV win, Davids said she would not have even auditioned had it not been for a friend who submitted her name to the producer at the last minute.
“I’ve sung professionally since I was 14 but, at the time, I was in a lull as far as singing went and then this popped up and I can’t help thinking it was just meant to be.
“I knew how much I wanted it by how terribly nervous I was, even as a professional singer who has sung and been compared to Whitney [Houston] my whole life,” said Davids, whose transition to looking almost like and sound exactly like Whitney started when she was just a little girl growing up in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth.
One of seven children, Davids was just like any other little girl who went to school and then strutted around the house doing her chores while humming and singing along to the latest hits on the radio.
The voice dominating the airwaves at that time happened to be Houston’s and almost every toddler, teen and adult wanted to sing just like her. But what set Davids apart from all the other Whitney wannabes is that she actually did sound like the legend.
And much the same as all the fans around the globe, she was obsessed with the star – plastering her bedroom walls with Whitney posters and magazine cutouts, dressing like her and singing her songs at every opportunity, including at family gatherings, talent competitions and to friends while playing on the street.
Her determination saw her join her first band at age 14, signing to BMG, later catching the eye of record executives of Tusk Records and releasing her first album before moving to Los Angeles to further her career.
Never having had any vocal training and yet blessed with a four-octave vocal range, and the ability to sing any genre, it wasn’t long before Davids grabbed the attention of an international audience with her Showtime Australia production The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston.
“For a show like this it is all about the team. There are so many people around me that make this show what it is and allow me to focus on putting out my best performances. If you sing what you love it’s a true joy, a blessing to be able to work in this industry,” she told Rehearsal Magazine.
Having mesmerised audiences around the globe with her vocal take on Houston, Davids and her world-class tribute show are once again heading back to SA, where she will also perform a series of special orchestral concerts at Joburg Civic Theatre from June 5 to 28 next year.
“This will be the only series of concerts I will get to perform in South Africa next year, so I am really looking forward to it,” said Davids.
- Tickets are already available at theatre box offices, Webticket or Checkers and Shoprite stores
- For more information visit thegreatestloveofallshow.com