Diva's greatness brought back

By Ginny Green, Zac Fleming

For one brief moment in time, Whitney Houston was brought back to life in Wanganui on Monday.

Belinda Davids, 37, was chosen from 15,000 budding candidates in over 12 countries to play the role of Whitney Houston in the late singer's tribute tour.

And when Davids hit the stage and opened with the iconic I'm Every Woman, it was obvious why. The South African starlet said that ever since she was a little girl she had "dreamed of being like Whitney".

"I am doing this tour so everyone can remember Whitney when she was at her best," she said.

Backed by a four-person dance group and a live band, Davids had the crowd at The Royal Wanganui Opera House out of their seats and singing along as if it was Whitney herself.

She reduced some of the crowd to tears with her amazing but predictable closing number, I Will Always Love You. The song was backed by a slideshow of pictures of Whitney as a young girl through to her platinum-album and award-winning career.

Not only does Davids have the vocal pipes to match Houston, she looks the part with an array of magnificently designed replica outfits including a head-to-toe sequin jumpsuit in traditional Whitney style.

If you were to see Davids from behind you would most certainly double take and wonder if Whitney had been brought back from the dead. Her hair looked as if it had been painstakingly shaped to perfectly emulate that of the late singer.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody was definitely a crowd-pleaser and the favourite of the night, with her dancers performing their best moves - a breakdancing spectacle that wowed the crowd.

Although Davids might not have the same stage presence as the late singer, she more than makes up for it with her unbelievable vocals and uncanny similarity in looks.

Davids was kind enough to spend time meeting all Whitney's super-fans after the show and pose for photographs and sign memorabilia.

The Greatest Love Of All - A Tribute To Whitney Houston has been touring around the world, coming fresh from America to our shores last week.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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