Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Lynn Williams (born March 18, 1963) is an American singer, actress, and fashion designer. She gained recognition as the first African-American woman to receive the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America 1984 in 1983. However, a scandal arose the following year when, a few weeks prior to the end of her reign, she learned that Penthouse magazine would publish nude photographs of her in an upcoming issue. Amid growing media controversy, she resigned as Miss America in July 1984 under pressure from the Miss America Organization and was replaced by the first runner-up: Miss New Jersey 1983, Suzette Charles. Williams rebounded from the scandal with a successful career as a singer and actress, for which she received multiple award nominations, including Grammys and Tonys. Thirty-two years later, Miss America CEO Sam Haskell offered Williams a public apology during the Miss America 2016 pageant for the events of 1984.(more)

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