A ROLE made famous by singing legend Whitney Houston and a signature song that was the UK No1 single for 10 weeks in a row… taking the lead in The Bodyguard was a no-brainer for The X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.
She is playing Rachel Marron, a soul superstar who falls for her bodyguard… and she gets to sing showstopper I Will Always Love You.
“It’s one of my favourite songs so being able to perform it day in, day out is amazing,” says Alexandra.
“That was one of the reasons I wanted to take on this role. I never get tired of singing this song and, thinking about it, I never get tired of singing any of the songs.
“The most important thing for me, is doing this song justice and, hopefully, giving people a relatable performance. Let’s face it, stepping into such iconic shoes as Whitney’s is a big ask!”
The lure of a role made famous by Whitney – who passed away in 2012 – was a massive draw.
“Rachel is a strong black woman with a passion for music and, above anything, love for her family – two things that are also of great importance to me,” explains Alexandra. “I loved The Bodyguard film and, of course, I absolutely loved Whitney Houston. She has been a musical inspiration for me from a young age.
“She was one of the most successful and influential female artists of all time, so when the opportunity arose to step into her shoes, and fill the part of Rachel Marron, I couldn’t refuse and I feel honoured to have had this experience.”
The 27-year-old who won The X Factor in 2008 is no stranger to inspirational women in her life though – her mum is Melissa Bell of Soul II Soul and Back To Life fame, and all.
“It was definitely a help,” says Alexandra. “I think if you come from a musical background it’s inevitable for you to have music in your bones – I certainly did from a young age!
“Mum taught me that if you want something bad enough, you have to work for it. I think she knew from a young age I could sing, she just helped me to believe in myself and find the courage to pursue my dreams. She’s been there herself, she knows how tough being an artist can be.”
As well as I Will Always Love You, The Bodyguard stage show features classic songs like Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, I’m Your Baby Tonight, Run to You, I Have Nothing, and I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
Alexandra is coy about her own security men, saying: “I wouldn’t call them a bodyguard as such! Thankfully, I haven’t needed security to the extent Rachel did, but yes, I have used security before.
“I think everyone in my industry, at certain stages of their career, needs somebody to help avoid any comprising or dangerous situations. It’s pretty normal – especially for a female artist to have this support.”
As for the future, she’s working on her third studio album and will take on the part of Deloris Van Carter in the national tour of Sister Act later this year.
“I’ll miss The Bodyguard as I have loved every second, but it is exciting to be going on to something new,” she says. “I can’t wait!”
Alexandra Burke will star in The Bodyguard at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, from Tuesday (29 March) through to Saturday April 9 – visit atgtickets.com.