It was standing ovations, cheers, and tears last Sunday night in the ballroom of Hilton Barbados when Mahalia’s Corner continued its fifth season. Betty Payne took the stage for the fourth instalment of the popular showcase, giving a performance as awe-aspiring as the lunar eclipse that took place that night outside the ballroom’s doors.
Upon taking the stage, the diva warned at the beginning of her set that the audience was going to “get to see the real Betty”, and she didn’t disappoint –– her voice soaring through powerful renditions of Lady Marmalade, Tessanne Chin’s Hideaway and her original He’s Gone, dedicated to her younger brother who lost his battle with cancer.
And by the time she had finished Celine Dion’s I Surrender, patrons had leapt to their feet, some overcome with emotion and wiping tears from their eyes. Betty also elicited thunderous response from her show of vocal gymnastics in an impromptu verse of Minnie Riperton’s Loving You.
Betty’s performance put the icing on an amazing line-up of local artistes who had taken the stage for Mahalia’s Corner’s trademark Open Mic session. Among them were the star singer’s own daughter Beviny Payne, who pleasantly surprised the audience with an endearing a cappella version of Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke. The spotlight artist for the week Alix Cage also wowed patrons with his smooth vocals and keyboard playing.
The hosts Nexcyx were in fine form as well, as is customary.
The Season Finale of Mahalia’s Corner takes place this Sunday at the Hilton with a double feature: international recording artist and Bajan talent Hal Linton, who returned from Los Angeles this week for the performance, and musical prodigy Marvay, who took Crop Over 2015 by storm with his hit Survive The Weekend.
Of his upcoming performance, Hal said: “Soul on Sunday. Full stop. It’s good to be back.”