BELINDA DAVIDS’ TRIBUTE TO WHITNEY

Although she is connected to certain songs for different reasons, she does not have a favourite Houston song.

“I actually don’t like to pick a favourite. I find when I listen to one song I’m compelled to listen to another and another and another.”

R&B chart-toppers such as Anita Baker and Chaka Khan are also among Davids’ idols, but she says Houston’s pure, clear and clean singing style set her apart from other artists at the time.

“[Houston] and [producer] Clive Davis had the brilliant ability to cross over from pop to R&B, and she delivered both in ways no-one can today.”

The reason Davids only portrays Houston is down to the show already being a concept, created by Showtime Australia chief executive and director John Van Grinsven, when she won the lead role.
“I think Whitney deserves her own show anyway,” Davids says.

Before Davids started rehearsing for the show, she studied Houston for three months. In the week before touring, she sings every day for more than four hours.

Davids has a four-octave vocal range, which means she can sing both unusually low and high notes in tune. This is a big advantage, as Houston had the same range abilities.

Davids has seven outfit changes in the show, but there are plenty more options in her repertoire.

“We change them up as needed. They’re all exquisite custom-made outfits, some of them replicas of iconic Whitney dresses, and some with hours worth of hand-beading. They are very glam.”

Graced with similar looks to Houston, Davids doesn’t spend much time in the make-up chair.

“I’m lucky in the sense that we look similar so it takes me only two hours to get ready, which seems a long time, but compared with some performers it is relatively quick.”

THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL: THE WHITNEY HOUSTON SHOW

* August 5: Forum North, Whangarei

* August 6: Turner Centre, Kerikeri

* August 9: Baycourt Addison Theatre, Tauranga

* August 10: TSB Showplace, New Plymouth

* August 11: Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland

* August 12: The Opera House, Wellington

* August 14: Southward Theatre, Paraparaumu

* August 16: Aurora Centre, Christchurch

* August 18: Theatre Royal, Nelson

* August 21: ASB Theatre Marlborough, Blenheim

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