Vanessa Lynn Williams

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Vanessa Lynn Williams
This article is about Vanessa Williams the actress/singer. For the Melrose Place actress, see Vanessa A. Williams.

Vanessa Lynn Williams (born March 18, 1963) is a pop/R&B singer and actress who began her career as the first black Miss America in 1984. She resigned early in her reign on July 23, 1984, however, when it was discovered that she had posed nude for photographs that were later published in the magazine Penthouse.



She managed to rise above the Miss America scandal and become a popular singer with her 1988 debut album, The Right Stuff, which went gold and earned Vanessa three Grammy Nominations, including one for Best New Artist. Her most notable songs include "Dreamin'", "Running Back To You", "Save The Best For Last", "Love Is", "The Sweetest Days", "Colors of the Wind", and "Oh How The Years Go By". In addition to 6 million records sold and 15 Grammy nominations, Ms. Williams also has three NAACP Image Awards, A Billboard Music Award, 7 New York Music Awards, An MTV Video Music Award, A Theater World Award, and was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for 2002's revival of Into The Woods by the Tony Awards. In 1996, she received the Soul Train: Lady of Soul Lena Horne Lifetime Career Achievement Award for Outstanding work in the field of entertainment.

Film work

Vanessa also made a splash into Hollywood and became an acclaimed actress, with appearances in films like Eraser, co-starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and starring in movies such as 1997's Soul Food for which she won the Best Actress award from the NAACP, and Dance With Me in 1998. Other movies include 1997's Hoodlum opposite Laurence Fishburne, 2000's Shaft opposite Samuel L. Jackson and her most recent, Johnson Family Vacation alongside Cedric The Entertainer.


In addition to her music, theater, and work on the silver screen, she has made numerous made-for-TV movies, miniseries, and has appeared on hit shows including, The Love Boat, TJ Hooker, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saturday Night Live, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, LateLine, Ally McBeal and Boomtown.

Personal Life

In her personal life, she is the mother of four children. Three of her children are from her first marriage to her then-manager Ramon Hervey. The marriage ended in 1997. She again married in 1999 to NBA basketball star Rick Fox. They have one daughter, Sasha. Rick Fox filed for divorce on August 11, 2004. Although Ms. Williams maintains that the two of them are still married, they are believed to be separated. The divorce is not final as yet.

For 2005, Vanessa released her eighth studio album Everlasting Love, a collection of her favorite '70s songs.

Williams attended Syracuse University.

Vocal Profile

  • Voice type: Mezzo-soprano
  • Highest note: B5 (Just For Tonight), C6
  • Lowest note: D3
  • Vocal range: 2 and change


External links


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