Belinda Davids talks the greatest love of all, music, and more with Fresh On 947
75 days ago
For accomplished South African songstress Belinda Davids, her role in The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston starring Belinda Davids is a serendipitous culmination to her life-long connection with Whitney Houston.
Growing up as a young ‘coloured’ girl in South Africa in the turbulent 80s, dreaming not only of a singing career but of respect and dignity as an artist, a woman and a human, Whitney Houston was a symbol of hope to Belinda.
Their similar musical backgrounds – both exposed largely to R&B and gospel as children and both taught to sing in the church – meant Belinda was innately drawn to Houston’s musical style also. From the earliest seeds of Belinda’s career when she began singing professionally at age 14, Houston’s influence was omnipresent; “I think I’ve sung at least one Houston track in almost every live show I’ve ever performed,” says Belinda.
In her young adulthood, Belinda’s extraordinary, untrained voice allowed her to carve out a successful career as a RiSA chart-topping solo artist in her home country of South Africa and as a session vocalist in the US for such artists as The Temptations, Keri Hilson, Keyshia Cole, Monica and Johnny Gill. However, the link between Belinda and Whitney was so strong that it actually hindered her rise as a solo artist overseas; she encountered resistance from record labels who were unsure how to work with her because she looked and sounded so exactly like Houston.
But in 2013 fate knocked and what had once been a challenge for her, was now to be a blessing - Belinda beat almost 15,000 other hopefuls to become the Principal Vocalist and marquee star of Showtime Australia’s newest stage production The Greatest Love of All, a celebratory concert in tribute to Whitney Houston.
Belinda felt destined: “I’ve essentially prepared my whole life for this show and I feel privileged to be able to honour Whitney in such a way.”
Now after six years touring almost exclusively with The Greatest Love of All and building it into an international hit, Belinda counts appearances on Fox TV’s Showtime at the Apollo and BBC TV’s Even Better Than the Real Thing among her career highlights along with working with the National Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, performing at London’s iconic Hammersmith Apollo theatre and gaining viral views of some of her performance videos (over 12 million views and counting).
Belinda Davids talks music, gender based violence, and more with Fresh On 947. Watch the full interview below...