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Vanessa Williams: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me (‘My Biggest Regret Is Posing Nude as a Teenager’)

Vanessa Williams Charcoal Sparkly Dress April 24, 2018
Mike Marsland/

Vanessa Williams exclusively opened up to Us Weekly about 25 things you might not know about her — including her current celebrity crush, hidden talent and biggest pet peeve. Read on to learn more about the singer, actress and former Miss America.

1. Any beach or ocean view helps clear my mind. A bonus is having a chilled cocktail in hand.

2. My favorite book of all time is Hop on Pop [by Dr. Seuss]. It’s the book my father taught all of my children [Melanie, 32, Jillian, 30, and Devin, 26, with ex Ramon Hervey II; and Sasha, 19, with ex Rick Fox] to read with.

3. My nickname is Ness — although, when I was in utero, my dad called me Thumper because I was so active.

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4. My biggest regret is posing nude as a teenager.

5. My parents gave me the blueprint to be the woman I am today.

6. My best splurge was a blue Maserati GT I bought more than 10 years ago. I enjoy it every time I start the engine.

7. I’d love to collect diamonds, but my bank account can’t afford that yet.

8. My first concert was Wild Cherry in seventh grade.

9. My worst personality trait is being impatient. I want what I want when I want it, which is now!

10. The best piece of advice I was ever given came from my mother: “You’ll have to do better than everyone else just to be considered equal, growing up as a black girl in a white school.”

11. The hardest lesson I’ve learned is: Trust your gut.

12. My hidden talent is playing the French horn. I used to play, but I’m not good anymore.

13. My personal mantra is: “Success is the best revenge.”

14. I don’t have a guilty pleasure. I regret no dessert, cigar or cocktail. Life is worth living, and everything in moderation.

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Vanessa Williams as Miss America 1984
Vanessa Williams, winner of the 57th Miss America Pageant, 1984. NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

15. My most dramatic fan encounter was in Buffalo, N.Y. [in 1988], when I was promoting my first album, The Right Stuff, and the fans were rocking my limo with excitement.

16. My favorite fan moment was in 1984, when I met the legendary Lena Horne — she was everything I aspired to be.

17. I relax by doing a crossword puzzle in the sun with a cup of coffee.

18. Lasagna is my most requested dish. I make it each year at holiday time, when all my kids return home.

19. My first celebrity crush was on Michael Jackson, when the Jackson 5’s ABC album came out [in 1970]. Loved his cute face and Afro. My crush now and for many years is Sting.

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20. My first job was babysitting the kids across the street.

21. I couldn’t live without my flip-flops. I wear them daily and panic if I can’t find them.

22. I listen to Howard Stern every day and have been a huge fan of his show for nearly 20 years.

23. My biggest pet peeve is cars driving slowly in the left lane. It’s called the passing lane for a reason.

24. My secret obsession is watching TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress marathons.

25. I’m a thrill seeker, but free-climbing a rock with your bare hands is insane.

Visit to shop William’s new and exclusive apparel collection featuring jackets, jumpsuits, camis and iconic wrap dresses – perfect for every woman! Her fall collection will be available in early September.

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