Cape Town’s very own ‘Whitney Houston’ is taking the world by storm - and this week scooped a top prize for her tribute to the world’s greatest diva of all time.
On Saturday, Belinda Davids won BBC1’s inaugural Even Better Than The Real Thing in the United Kingdom, beating dozens of competitors.
Neither ‘Michael Jackson’, ‘Lady Gaga’ nor ‘Bruno Mars’ could hold a candle to Davids as she belted out Houston’s mega-hits I Have Nothing and It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay.
The single mom of two has found fame and fortune paying tribute to Whitney, who drowned in a bath after a drug overdose in 2012.
In her sold-out performances across the world she has been called a ‘dead ringer’ for Houston, from her voice to her hair, dance moves and on stage eccentricities.
She was head hunted by EBTTRT host Paddy McGuiness and went up against other acts such as George Michael, Little Mix and Amy Winehouse to perform in the first of BBC1’s new Saturday night entertainment show.
And she blew the audience away. Belinda says she and the show producer chose the songs.
“Those were a good cross-section of Whitney’s career and her breadth as a singer... a little bit of fun and a lot of big ballad,” Belinda explains.
Our meisie was in it to win it and gave it her all, making full use of her impressive four octave range.
“There was a room full of impersonators on the show - everyone from Dolly Parton to Lady Gaga to Bruno Mars - but only five of us competed as solo artists,” Belinda tells the Daily Voice.
“The artists who competed are not your average tribute acts. These are dedicated, career vocalists and impersonators who put much time and effort into their performances, just as I do. I mean, some of them have seasons on West End, so of course it was tough!”
They were given just one week to rehearse.
“Honestly, the whole process was very exciting because it’s a whirlwind week of rehearsals and recording and meeting all the performers, crew, producers, hairstylists and wardrobe team which is super busy but also great fun.
“But, of course, when you step out to perform onto a set that magnificent with all those lights and the anticipation in the room, nerves creep in, I can’t lie.”
She says she was overwhelmed when she was announced as the winner.
“I’m thrilled about winning and having my voice and hard work recognised, but mostly I just feel so honoured and humbled that people enjoyed it and thought it was special, and mostly that they thought it was true to the spirit of Whitney.
“Because that is always my primary aim when I step on the stage.”