Rewind: Vanessa Williams Always Has the Fire
By ROBERT PACE
August 22, 2012
Vanessa Williams has had such a versatile Hollywood career that you might have forgotten that she began her career as a fashion model and then became a successful recording artist.
For this Pop Culture Rewind, we take you back the frontend of Williams' career, back to this day in 1988, a few months after she had released her first album, The Right Stuff.
"As Miss America and singing nationally on television, I sang a lot of show tunes, so I think some didn't know what musical direction I wanted to go in," Williams says in the featured flashback of being signed to a record label five years after she won the Miss American pageant. "I'm sure everyone had their own reason but I'm finally glad that I did get signed and someone did believe in me."
Part of the hesitation on record labels to sign Williams came from the controversy surrounding her 1984 Miss America crowning, which was marred by leaked nude photos that she had taken years before that eventually caused her to relinquish her title as Miss America.
Despite the toll that the controversy took on her career, Williams rebounded and says that she ultimately never lost faith in herself in the face of the obstacle in her career.
"That's why I'm here. If I wrote myself off, I'd be sitting somewhere in a rocking chair doing nothing," the then-25-year-old says of her persistence. "I always had the fire. I always knew I could do it, and I'm glad I have the opportunity to do it."
The Right Stuff sold half a million copies and brought in her first three Grammy nominations.
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