Watch exclusive behind the scenes video of Vanessa Williams on Private Sessions
Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold over four million albums worldwide and her skills as an actress on stage, in film and on television have earned praise from the most seasoned of critics.
Vanessa launched her recording career in 1988 with her first album, The Right Stuff, which went gold and earned her first three Grammy Award nominations. Her 1991 multi-million selling follow-up, The Comfort Zone, which featured the unforgettable "Save the Best for Last," and her third album, The Sweetest Days, each yielded multiple hits and Grammy nominations. She was nominated for yet another Grammy for her hit single "Colors of the Wind," from Disney's Pocahontas, which went on to win an Academy Award, Golden Globe and the Grammy for Best Song in a Motion Picture. Her numerous recordings also include two holiday-themed albums, "Star Bright" and "Silver & Gold;" "Vanessa Williams Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years;" "Our Favorite Things," with Tony Bennett, Placido Domingo and Charlotte Church and "Everlasting Love," a romantic collection of her favorite love songs from the 1970's.
In 1994, Vanessa realized a life-long dream, taking Broadway by storm when she replaced Chita Rivera in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Her performance won critics over and was a box-office sensation, firmly establishing Vanessa as a multi-talented triple-threat. Vanessa also garnered rave reviews and was nominated for a Tony Award in the 2002 revival of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods.
Vanessa made her film debut in 1986 in Under the Gun and has since starred opposite a wide array of leading men including Arnold Schwarzenegger in Warner Bros.' action thriller, Eraser, Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia in Hoodlum and Shaft, with Samuel L. Jackson. Vanessa has also won an NAACP Image Award for her performance in the box-office hit, Soul Food. Among her other film credits are the romantic dance-musical Dance with Me, independent features, My Brother and And Then Came Love, and recently Johnson Family Vacation co-starring Cedric the Entertainer and Steve Harvey.
Vanessa has played many diverse roles on television, in such productions as "Stompin' at the Savoy," "The Boy Who Loved Christmas", "The Jacksons: An American Dream," for which she won another NAACP Image Award, and ABC's revival of "Bye, Bye Birdie". She also starred in the VH1 Original Movie, "A Diva's Christmas Carol," which was the highest rated movie ever for VH1, their second highest rated telecast overall of in 2000 and their fourth highest rated telecast of all time. She currently stars on ABC's hit series, "Ugly Betty," which has won the Golden Globe Award for Best TV Series, Comedy.
Among Vanessa's many awards and honors, she was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 and 2008 for her role of Wilhelmina Slater on ABC's TV series Ugly Betty and in 2007 she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1996, she received the coveted Lena Horne Career Achievement Award at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. Vanessa's charitable contributions are many and varied, embracing and supporting such issues as education, homelessness, abuse, women's issues and health concerns, AIDS and anything having to do with children. Vanessa is especially proud to be a member of the Board of Directors for the International Special Olympics.
Only on A&E's PRIVATE SESSIONS – Award winning singer / actress Vanessa Williams sits down with host Lynn Hoffman to reflect on her diverse and successful career in television, film, Broadway and discusses her latest CD, "The Real Thing". Don't miss exclusive performances of her hits "Save the Best for Last", "Love Is", "Colors of the Wind" and off of her new album The Real Thing, she'll perform the title track and "Just Friends". Plus, celebrity surprises from Brian McKnight, Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie and Babyface!
Read Vanessa Williams's biography on BIO.com