Vanessa Williams Tickets for Sale

When Vanessa Williams began her singing career, she was known chiefly as the Miss America pageant winner who'd been forced to renounce her title for posing in Penthouse magazine. Williams not only put the scandal behind her, she all but obliterated it, turning out a series of slick, sophisticated hits that made her one of the most popular adult contemporary R&B singers of her time. In addition to her broad crossover appeal, she established a parallel acting career in both film and television, ending the '90s as a highly successful all-around entertainer.

Vanessa Lynn Williams (born March 18, 1963) is a pop and R&B singer who began her career as the first black Miss America. She resigned early in her reign on July 23, 1984, however, when it was discovered that she had posed nude for photographs that were later published in the magazine Penthouse. She managed to rise above that scandal and become a respected and popular singer with her 1988 debut album, and eventually actress, with appearances in films like Eraser, co-starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Undaunted, Williams began to pursue her first love, singing; she backed George Clinton on his 1986 album R&B Skeletons in the Closet, including the single "Do Fries Go With That Shake?" Williams also returned to acting, making her feature film debut with a small role in The Pickup Artist in 1987; the same year, she married her manager, Ramon Harvey. All the renewed exposure eventually helped land her a record deal with Mercury/Polygram subsidiary Wing.

Williams' debut album, The Right Stuff, was released in 1988, featuring a mix of urban dance-pop and adult contemporary balladry. The title track was a decent-sized hit, and the ballad "Dreamin'" became Williams' first Top Ten single, going all the way to number one on the R&B charts. The Right Stuff went gold, and Williams subsequently appeared in several TV movies. Her 1991 sophomore set The Comfort Zone was a star-maker; it spawned another R&B chart-topper in "Running Back to You," but the real story was the ballad "Save the Best for Last," a ubiquitous across-the-board smash that became Williams' first number one hit on the pop charts. The title track solidified Williams' growing reputation for smooth, sexy adult pop, and the album went on to sell over two million copies. In 1993, Williams' duet with Brian McKnight, "Love Is," became another huge hit when it was featured on the soundtrack of Beverly Hills 90210.
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Jul 19 Thu 8:00 PM Vanessa Williams Artpark Mainstage
Lewiston, NY
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In 1994, Williams returned to her roots by accepting her first starring role on Broadway, taking over the lead in Kiss of the Spider Woman; she also appeared on a re-recorded version of the cast album. Late that year, she also released her third album, The Sweetest Days, which found her branching out into jazzy pop and torch songs in addition to her usual urban and adult contemporary fare. It also featured material by Babyface and Sting, and its upscale, sophisticated ambience gave Williams her second platinum album. In 1995, Williams was tabbed to sing the commercial version of "Colors of the Wind," the theme to the Disney film Pocahontas; not only was it a huge hit, it also won an Academy Award. 1996 brought a divorce from manager Harvey and the holiday album Star Bright; most notably, Williams landed her biggest feature film role to date when she starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in that year's Eraser, and she followed it with an appearance in the ensemble drama Soul Food in 1997. 1997 also brought her fourth proper album, Next, which didn't attract quite as much attention as its predecessors. After the release of Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years in late 1998, Williams remained relatively quiet on the musical front, save for the occasional live performance event; she concentrated more on her acting career, and was prominently featured in Dance With Me (1998), Light It Up (1999), and the remake of Shaft (2000).

Her first marriage, in 1987, was to her then-manager Ramon Hervey, with whom she had three children. She divorced him in 1997, and was married to NBA basketball star Rick Fox two years later. On August 11, 2004, Rick Fox filed for a divorce from Vanessa, ending five years of marriage, according to his publicist, coming just one week after he was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers. The couple, who have a four-year-old daughter called Sasha, agreed previously to keep their property assets separate, according to court papers. The two were wed at a high-profile ceremony in 1999, but have reportedly been separated for some time, with Williams living in New York while Fox played in Los Angeles. Rick Fox recently filed for divorce after retiring from the NBA.
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