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Vanessa Williams

A woman of many faces and talents, a woman who not only demands respect but also has earned it. She has conquered the musical charts, the big screen and the stages of Broadway. However, she demands to be seen as a person and not just as a star. Now the story of a woman, who has not only captured the hearts of millions, but has also defied the rules and boundaries of people everywhere.

When you look at a celebrity it is often imagine that their whole lives were perfect, is is sometimes hard to imagine that these people who are "sitting on top of the world" ever wanted for anything, ever needed anything. However, despite the glamour and the "high life" they may be living now, chances are it was not always the case.

Vanessa Williams, born on March 18th of 1963, grew up in a small town in upstate New York called Millwood. Her parent, Milton and Helen Williams, were both music teachers and encouraged Vanessa in her musical studies. She also has a younger brother by 4 years, Christopher. It is said that Vanessa was born to be on the stage, to perform, to "show the world what she can do" and throughout her career she has done nothing less than just that.

As a child, Vanessa began with playing instruments such as the Piano and the French Horn. However, it was not long after that her parents began noticing there was so much more she could do. After really listening to Vanessa sing, they knew their daughter has something special to offer the world. Therefore, Vanessa began performing in school plays and things of this sort.

Vanessa began growing into a mature and beautiful woman, physically and musically. Attending Syracuse University, Vanessa began majoring in musical theater and started showing off more musical talent than anyone imagined she had. As her beauty grew and her voice became more and more outstanding people around her began to notice it. Her friends and her family would even say she possessed a certian spark that other people she was around did not. Soon enough Vanessa, sought out by scouts, found out about the "Miss Syracuse" pageant. As the scount continuously offered her a possition in the contest Vanessa began to consider it. Seeing as how the theater show Vanessa was schedualed for canceled, Vanessa decided she would enter the pageant simply for "book money" or some extra money to put toward her education. Little did she know that decision would change her life forever.

As if there was any doubt, Vanessa won the "Miss Syracuse" pageant and went on to become "Miss New York" in the well awaited Miss America pageant, 1984. Vanessa graced the stage a long with 49 other beautiful women, women considered to be the best in their state, therefore the best in the United States. Taking hold of categories such as the interview, swimsuit and talent, she went on to win the title of Miss America 1984. "Now she belongs to the world," says best friend Diane Sims. "Initially I was sad because she meant so much to me." Winning this contest was a great honor for Vanessa, being the first black Miss America however; it also brought to her life fear. Fear not only for her own life but fear also for her family's. She knew and was constantly reminded that the people of the black race did not want her known as the "First African American Miss America" because to them she was not black enough. In the same hand, she was hated by the people of the white culture because to them she had taken the crown from the many white women on the stage who, in their eyes, deserved it much more.

Price Range: Please inquire.

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