Hi everyone, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Shèna Winchester and my claim to fame is that I am the only woman in the world to have ever portrayed Whitney Houston twice on TV. The first time in Autopsy: Whitney Houston’s last hours and more recently in Whitney & Bobby: addicted to love both on Channel 5 in the UK. My background is that I am a professional singer and songwriter. In fact I decided to pursue a career in music all because of this inspiring legend, hence it was kind of ironic that I got to play her twice.
Here is a little snippet of me in action in one of my favourite scenes from the documentary. I am having a full-on spat with Bobby Brown (aka David Bonnick Jr) backstage of The Bodyguard premiere.
This blog is a bit of a rant really because I hate injustice of any kind and I am also a huge Nippy fan myself, so I felt it necessary to speak up for her as she is obviously not able to do that for herself. Why is the Amy Winehouse documentary getting so much attention and accolades, whereas I’m sure that so many of the Nippy fans out there don’t even know that a documentary about their female icon even exists? Amy Winehouse made a massive contribution to the music industry, but was it anymore than Whitney Houston’s? We are talking about ‘The Voice’ here people and not just your average diva!
In this documentary it doesn’t just use footage from Whitney’s archives, it also uses interviews with people who knew her well, but most importantly it incorporates dramatic reconstructions performed by talented actors and actresses like myself, David Bonnick Jr as Bobby Brown, Lorna Anders as Cissy Houston, Michelle Cornelius as Robyn Crawford and Lola Adaja as my Baby girl Bobbi Kristina. It covers every base, is two hours long and answers questions about how this incredible diva, who appeared to have it all, fell so unapologetically from grace. The Amy Winehouse documentary does not have all these elements.
Now please don’t get me wrong. I am not dissing Amy’s documentary, in fact I watched it and found it very informative and intriguing. Also this has nothing to do with the fact that she was Jewish and Nippy was black, because talent is talent at the end of the day: it shouldn’t really matter what background it emanates from. Also I happen to have a lot of wonderful Jewish friends, so that part of the equation is irrelevant to me. I just don’t understand why Whitney’s documentary is not getting the attention it deserves. IMHO it should have at least been nominated for a few TV awards.
I am British at the end of the day, but sometimes I am ashamed to call myself that because I am sick and tired of the issues it has here that haunt me on a regular basis, and that just seem to be swept under the carpet. I mean how can the UK’s entertainment industry pride itself on being a multicultural society when that so-called multiculturalism is nowhere to be seen in the media or the press?
How is it that I am good enough to be the only woman in the world to have portrayed Whitney Houston twice on TV, I have over 150 commercial releases to my credit, (one was even featured on the Daniel Craig movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) I have a gold disc on the wall of my home studio and I am a household name in Russia, but I can’t get beyond first base on the UK’s X-Factor? Can someone please explain that to me. If you are going to allow people like of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini to slip through the net in the Music Business, then why do talented individuals like Beverly Knight and myself appear to get such a raw deal?
I don’t think Channel 5 helped this situation very much either because they didn’t really promote it at all, let alone tell the crew or cast members when it was about to air. There was no morning interviews for me and David. Also wouldn’t it have been better for promotion of the show if you have someone who looks a bit, acts a bit and most importantly sings a little bit like Whitney Houston? Surely that would get people’s attention, But no although I spent all day in Metropolis studios in London recording Nippy’s songs and the crew members applauded me after each performance, all the magic that was created in the studio is not really reflected in the documentary, so I felt I let my fans down. Channel 5 you missed a trick there. You seriously missed a trick! Don’t worry though fans I am soon about to rectify that problem.
Someone has to say something about the lack of diversity within the UK’s entertainment industry that has gone on long enough. Predominantly in TV and in the press. Even Craig David and Sinitta commented about it at the Brit Awards recently.
I don’t really have anything to lose by writing this blog, because my success has been mainly down to the Russians. In fact if it wasn’t for the Russians I probably wouldn’t have had the career that I have been lucky enough to enjoy so far in music. However, although I am eternally grateful to the Russians, I shouldn’t have had to go so far afield to experience true success. Am I not British after all?
My favourite quote is that, ‘It is the unreasonable man that changes the world’, so on that note I am just preparing to release a new, original album which is inspired by Whitney Houston and dedicated to my late husband, James Winchester whom I sadly lost on 21st September 2014. I am looking to release it May – June of this year. If you’re interested in that then watch this space. However in the meantime, if you don’t want to wait that long to get your hands on some great music, then I have decided to release my Disco collection as a signed 3 CD Box Set as well as a signed Vinyl copy of the album, One Man Woman, which can all be purchased from my website: www.1skinnydiva.com. On there you also get an opportunity to watch a 4-min Mashup of my Disco videos. As you probably gathered Donna Summer is another one of my idols. Warning though fans this is only for serious Disco fans. Anyway please click here to be directed to it.
My goal is to prove that you don’t need to go on X-Factor to enjoy real success as a true artist.
Thanks for listening!