Cape Town – Whitney Houston lives on through South African singer Belinda Davids who was recently recognised by the UK music industry with a special award.
Davids was given the International Special Recognition Award at the UK’s National Tribute Music Awards held in Droitwich last week.
The award was created especially for the Port Elizabeth-born singer.
Famed for her marquee role in the hit show The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston, which has been storming the world’s stages and gaining the musician international recognition, Davids took home the accolade in acknowledgement of her “global contribution to tribute performing” and “groundbreaking influence on the music industry”.
Davids started her journey performing Houston’s greatest hits in 2013 and said she never expected any recognition as a cover artist.
“This is not a thing that happens to tribute artists. We don’t receive awards for replicating someone else and I made the point when I received the award to say to everybody no one really knows how hard we work.
“This is not me just replicating Whitney Houston, it’s paying homage to my idol and keeping her music alive,” said Davids.
She was selected by Showtime Management out of 15000 would-be Whitney’s to perform in the show after the production company scoured the globe to find the perfect star to embody the late diva.
Since then she’s won BBC TV’s Even Better Than The Real Thing musical contest in 2017 and last year received a standing ovation when she performed at the prestigious Apollo Theater in New York City.
Davids attributes all her successes and recognition to her idol.
“I don’t know what it is for other tribute artists but for me Whitney Houston taught me how to sing.
“It didn’t just start with the show, the show came along at the right time for me. I was in the middle of having a baby and was not even looking to do anything.
“I love what I do because I do it every day, I sing in my house, it’s not like I go home and say I’ve been singing all day I don’t want to sing now,” she said.
Davids said if Houston were alive today she would simply say “thank you” to the award-winning artist.
“Thank you for teaching me how to use my talent, for teaching me that I am much stronger technically and vocally than I thought I was and now that she (Houston) has passed the appreciation for her is even more.”
Davids is away from home for 10 months and after performing on the live finale of the kykNET show Maak My Famous this past week, she will only return to Cape Town later this year.
“This will be the only series of concerts I will get to perform in South Africa this year so I am really looking forward to it. It’s always great to be on stage at home in SA and share my love for singing with my people.
“The show’s production team and I are working on delivering an amazing orchestra performance that will definitely be one for the memory books,” she said.
Davids will perform at the Artscape Opera House from November 20 to December 1.
She has tours planned for the US, UK and Russia for the rest of the year and is fully booked for a worldwide tour until 2021.