Belinda Davids is touring various countries at the moment, but she says there is nothing more special to her than performing in front of her home crowd.
For one night only, on Saturday December 2, she will be bringing The Greatest Love of All – a Tribute to Whitney Houston to the Grand Arena at GrandWest.
Tabletalk caught up with the singer last week on a Zoom chat. Davids had some time to spare while she was on tour in Paris, France.
Davids grew up in a humble setting in Gelvandale, Gqeberha, and recently relocated to Cape Town.
The fourth child of seven, she was the lead singer in her family-owned church.
“I was that girl,” she says with a giggle.
She recalls finding her voice as a singer in primary school, singing for friends, and standing on her grandmother’s front stoep singing to passers-by.
She has never had any vocal training but she has a 4-octave vocal range.
Ironically, music was one of her most hated subjects in school because she found it difficult to read music. “And I still can’t read music. I was blessed with a voice and that’s it,” she says.
It was when she heard Whitney Houston’s, Hold Me, released in 1984, that she realised she want to be like her.
“I was 8 years old, and at the time Whitney was 17. I knew I had similar vocal abilities to her.”
But being a tribute artist has many challenges, she says, because she needs to make it clear that “she is not Whitney Houston” but instead is trying to keep her legacy alive.
“I know that people will say, ‘Oh there’s the woman who does Whitney, and that’s okay. But I am not Whitney.”
Davids has performed alongside the likes of Keri Hilson, Keyshia Cole and Monica. She has also been making her mark on the international television scene with appearances on Britain’s Got Talent, Steve Harvey’s Showtime at the Apollo and BBC’s Even Better Than the Real Thing.
She was also awarded the Golden Buzzer on Europe’s Got Talent.
She has opened for several international acts in South Africa, including Michael Jackson’s History Tour, The Manhattans, The Temptations and Peaches & Herb.
But despite travelling the world, Davids is thrilled to return home to Cape Town, not only for the show but to spend Christmas with her sons and family.
“It’s amazing to perform for people around the world, but there is nothing like performing for ‘your’ people.When I’m home it’s amazing, I just feel the love.”
She is working on an album at the moment, and she says fans can look forward to hearing something “fun, sexy, and enjoyable”.