1. Vanessa Lynn Williams (born 18 March 1963 - Tarrytown, New York, U.S.) is an American R&B/pop/theatrical singer and actress. In 1983, Williams made history when she became the first woman of known African descent to be crowned Miss America. Her regime as Miss America came to an early and abrupt end when she resigned her title under pressure when Penthouse published nude pictures of her that Hugh Heffner, publisher of Playboy, said he turned down because "they clearly weren't authorized" and that publication of surprise nude pictures without her consent "would be the source of considerable embarrassment to her."
However, she has since gone on to a successful entertainment career. Williams secured a record deal, and released her debut album, The Right Stuff. The first single, Dreamin', was a chart success, and the album reached gold status and earned her three Grammy Award nominations, including one for Best New Artist.
In addition to "Dreamin'", her most notable chart successes have included the songs Running Back To You, Love Is, The Sweetest Days, Colors of the Wind, The Comfort Zone, Just For Tonight, and Oh How The Years Go By. Her biggest hit to date is Save the Best For Last, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks from March 21 to April 18, 1992. In total, Williams has sold six million records and received fifteen Grammy Award nominations.
In 2005, Williams released her eighth studio album, Everlasting Love, a collection of covers of her favorite 1970s songs.
Vanessa made her comeback in 2006 in the US hit series Ugly Betty in the role of Wilemina Slater. She also made a cameo appearance as a sports journalist in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, where she gave birth, the baby being delivered by Will Smith.
She's also been seen in a few episodes of Desperate Housewives Season 7; she then joined the cast and remained a series regular until the show ended in 2012.
2. Vanessa R. Williams, who records as just Vanessa Williams (born November 28, 1960 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) is an American gospel music singer.
After working as a public school art teacher for many years, she signed with Light Records and Bajada Records. Her debut album Vanessa was released in 2002 and made the top ten of Billboard magazine's gospel albums chart. Her follow-up album Here I Go Again! was released in 2004.
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