Belinda George Peoples’ talents have taken her around the world but her longest-running stage has been in Birmingham.
The singer, actress, retired educator and humanitarian traded a recording career for education and what she may have lost in some early hit records, Peoples gained in experience and more. And she still has enjoyed a long and successful career in entertainment.
Her mother was a singer and choir director. Her father was a singer and her grandfather sang in a quartet.
Peoples grew up singing in church and singing, dancing and acting in school-produced variety shows as a young girl.
After winning Female Vocalist of Alabama in high school, she was approached with record deals.
“I told them … ‘I don’t mind recording, but I really want to go to college,’” Peoples said.
In college, she sang operatic songs and participated in productions.
After college, she returned to Birmingham to teach third graders at Minor Elementary School, a job she held all the way to retirement.
While she was still teaching, the Town & Gown Theater (now the Virginia Samford Theatre and Red Mountain Cabaret Theatre) wanted Peoples to be part of its productions, starting with “Ain’t Misbehavin” more than two decades ago.
“That was the start of something brand new and exciting to me,” Peoples said.
In the years since, she has been able to experience other new and exciting things.
Over the past 20 years, she has continued to perform in Red Mountain Cabaret Theatre productions, such as “Big River,” “Sophisticated Ladies,” “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “BEEHIVE,” “Back to The Dream,” and various concerts and Christmas shows.
Peoples sang with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in the concert version of “Carousel” and was featured in “Respect,” which was specifically written for her and centered on the life and music of Aretha Franklin.
Peoples is a featured soloist on two projects with Birmingham’s New Hope Baptist Church Mass Choir and with Leonard Scott of Tyscott Recordings. She recorded “This Is Love,” for the Global Health & Humanities Project.
As a soloist and choir member, Peoples has traveled and sung in Sweden and Spain as well as in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. She sang the national anthem at a Chicago White Sox baseball game and has performed at the Southwestern Athletic Conference Football Championship and Rickwood Classic baseball game in Birmingham.
She still loves to sing and perform and sees it as an opportunity to encourage and motivate others.
These days, Peoples is a grandmother (she has one son who also plays music).
“I thank God for being where I am, where I have been and where I hope to go,” she said.