American actress, fashion designer and singer Vanessa Williams has always been a trailblazer. Back in 1983 she was the first ever woman of Africa American descent to win the prestigious Miss America title, going on to have a successful career as an actress and singer. Most famously she was a regular in Desperate Housewives, the hit TV drama, playing the part of Renee Perry from 2010 to 2012. Her stage and screen appearances also won her an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her portrayal of Teri Joseph in 1997’s Soul Food, while she also brought plenty of flair to the character of Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty.
Williams’s star-studded recording career started with her 1988 debut album The Right Stuff, which included such hits as the number 8 Billboard Hot 100 track “Dreamin.” Further albums followed, fusing urban styles with catchy pop and next to plenty of commercial success, also earned her Grammy Award nominations – most notably for her signature song, “Save the Best for Last”. Her skills in the studio have continued to turn out essential albums across the years with the likes of Everlasting Love in 2005 and The Real Thing in 2009 very much keeping her in the spotlight. Further high-profile credits have brought her name to younger audiences with parts in the Shaft remake and with Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana: The Movie, all of which contributed to her receiving a well-deserved Hollywood Walk of Fame star.