Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in the entertainment industry today. Having sold millions of records worldwide, Vanessa has also achieved numerous #1 and Top 10 hits on various Billboard Album and Singles charts, from Pop, Dance, R&B, Adult Contemporary to Holiday, Latin, Gospel and Jazz.
Her discography includes such releases as her debut album, The Right Stuff, The Comfort Zone, The Sweetest Days, Next, Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years, Everlasting Love and The Real Thing. Her holiday albums, Star Bright and Silver & Gold became instant holiday classics. Her numerous hit singles include “Save the Best For Last,” “Dreamin’,” “The Right Stuff,” “Work to Do” “Oh How the Years Go By” and “Love Is,” among many others.
Her critically-acclaimed work in film, television, recordings and the Broadway stage has been recognized by every major industry award affiliate including 4 Emmy nominations, 11 Grammy nominations, a Tony nomination, 3 SAG award nominations, 7 NAACP Image Awards and 3 Satellite Awards. Her Platinum single “Colors of the Wind,” from Disney’s “Pocahontas,” won the Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
A graduate of Syracuse University, Vanessa is a strong advocate for equal rights, especially concerning the gay community and minorities. She was honored with the Human Rights Campaign Ally for Equality Award for her humanitarian contributions. Vanessa also achieved a career pinnacle with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007. Vanessa’s autobiography, You Have No Idea, co-written with her mother Helen Williams, was a New York Times Best Seller in 2012.
In 2020, Vanessa released Bubble Kisses, her first picture book for children, which tells the story of a young girl with the ability to transform into a mermaid. This effervescent, lively tale is based on a song which is also available with the book and as a download. Bubble Kisses was honored with The American Book Fest Award, The National Indie Excellence Award and The International Book Award in the Category of Best Children’s Picture Book – Hardcover Fiction.
Vanessa recently starred in the World Premiere of Selina Fillinger’s new Broadway comedy, “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive,” directed by Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman with an all-female cast featuring Lilli Cooper, Lea DeLaria, Rachel Dratch, Julianne Hough, Suzy Nakamura and Julie White. Her Broadway credits include “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “St. Louis Woman,” “Into the Woods,” “Sondheim on Sondheim” and “After Midnight.”
She co-starred with Cicely Tyson in The Trip to Bountiful, (the #1 play of the 2013 season) and headlined a special limited engagement of Hey, Look Me Over at New York City Center in 2018. She starred in the revival of City of Angels in London’s The West End and a special performance of Stephen Sondheim’s Anyone Can Whistle at Carnegie Hall.
Her many film credits include “Eraser,” “Soul Food,” “Shaft,” “Dance With Me,” “Hoodlum,” “Light It Up” and “Johnson Family Vacation.” On television, she starred in ABC’s global hit series “Ugly Betty” and “Desperate Housewives,” as well as “Daytime Divas,” “666 Park Avenue” and such television movies and miniseries as “Bye Bye Birdie” and “The Odyssey.”
In 2021, Vanessa joined the star-studded panel of judges for RuPaul’s Paramount+ competition series, “Queen of the Universe,” along with Michelle Visage, Trixie Mattel and Leona Lewis. Hosted by Graham Norton and produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and World of Wonder, the series will return for a second season with Melanie Brown (Spice Girls’ Mel B) joining the celebrity judging panel.
Vanessa is the mother of four – Melanie, Jillian, Devin and Sasha. Her charitable endeavors are many and varied, embracing and supporting such organizations as Black Theatre United, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Special Olympics, Broadway Cares-Equity Fights AIDS and several others.
Vanessa is a successful entrepreneur and one of the world’s most accomplished concert artists, appearing regularly on the concert and cabaret stage and performing with the most prestigious symphony orchestras in the world.