THE message of the importance of self-love and self-confidence in Whitney Houston’s song Greatest Love of All resonated with Belinda Davids even as a child growing up in South Africa’s Port Elizabeth before she knew it was a Houston song.
The middle child of seven had a gospel church upbringing, cementing her foundation for voice and love of music without ever having vocal training for her four octave range.
“It is just a natural gift,” Davids said.
“I actually knew very young just from the reactions of other people that my voice was special and unusual.”
She began singing professionally at 14 years old, becoming infatuated with Houston as so many young girls did in the 1980s.
“I cannot deny that having a beautiful ethnic woman break through and be successful in an arena that was otherwise so ‘narrow’ was inspirational,” she said.
“It gave me hope and pride.”
So when Showtime Australia conducted more than 15,000 auditions across 12 countries to find the best “Whitney” for live production The Greatest Love of All – The Whitney Houston Show, selecting Davids and her talent was inevitable.
“As a singer there is really no higher goal or honour than to sing Whitney’s catalogue,” she said.
“Her voice is the highest standard for singers and her hit songs were penned by the best songwriters in the world. But above that, I just love her, I’ve always loved her and every night that I step on stage I truly feel that I am paying homage to a personal hero of mine.
“We’ve worked very hard to create a world-class show with quality production values, so it’s spectacular to experience in that sense but also it’s just a great celebration of Whitney music.”
Davids said she hoped her performance helped audiences revisit fond memories of the incredible artist Houston was and how much she contributed to the soundtrack of a generation.
What: The Greatest Love of All – The Whitney Houston Show
Where: Crown Theatre Perth
When: January 9, 2018