Vanessa Williams (US pop/R&B vocalist/producer)
Vanessa Williams (born March 18, 1963) is an American actress, singer, and fashion designer. Williams initially gained recognition as the first African-American recipient of the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America 1984 in September 1983. However, a few weeks prior to the end of her reign, she learned that Penthouse magazine would be publishing nude photographs of her in an upcoming issue. She thus resigned as Miss America on July 22, 1984 (after being given 72 hours to do so by the Miss America Organization), and was replaced by first runner-up Miss New Jersey Suzette Charles.
She rebounded as a singer in 1988 with the song "The Right Stuff", followed by a string of successful albums and singles. Williams also became well known as an actress, particularly for her roles as Teri Joseph in the 1997 feature film Soul Food, Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty, and Renee Perry in Desperate Housewives. Thirty-two years after resigning as Miss America, the current CEO of the Miss America Organization, Sam Haskell, offered Williams a public apology at the beginning of the Miss America 2016 pageant (where she was serving as head judge) for what was said to her in 1984.