Vanessa Williams was born on March 18, 1963 in Millwood, New York. In 1984, the 5′ 6″ beauty became the first African American woman to be crowned Miss America. Ten months later, Williams relinquished her title when nude photos from her past surfaced in Penthouse.
Despite the scandal, Williams’ career was far from over: in 1988, she released her debut album, The Right Stuff, and six years later, she was cast in Broadway’s Kiss of the Spider Woman. In 1996, Williams received an Academy Award nomination for the song “Colors of the Wind” from the movie Pocahontas.
In addition to recording eight studio albums, Williams has earned praise for her work in TV and film, including roles on Ugly Betty, Soul Food and Desperate Housewives.
First married in 1987, Williams and Ramon Hervey II are the proud parents of three children: Melanie, Jillian and Devin; the couple divorced 10 years later. Williams walked down the aisle for a second time in 1999, this time with former NBA player Rick Fox. The following year, she gave birth to a daughter, Sasha. Fox filed for divorce in 2004.