Vanessa Williams Returning To ‘Miss America’ 32 Years After Giving Up Her Crown
32 years after being crowned the first African-American Miss America, Vanessa Williams will be returning to the pageant as the head judge for the 95th annual competition.
“It’s a new day there,” Williams said in an exclusive interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts. “There’s a lot of people that do feel that I should return … And they are inviting me back as an example of, ‘This is what can happen to you in your life,'” she told Roberts. “And there might be some more surprises. So we’ll see.”
Williams’ return to the stage comes decades after the beauty was forced to resign from her coveted position. In July 1984, it was revealed that “Penthouse Magazine” was going to publish nude photos that Williams had taken two years earlier.
“It was two drastically different images. … That was the issue. It was Miss America who’s really kind of untouched in that reality. And then there was this woman in a picture,” Williams told Robin. “This was exactly the polar opposite of purity … and I was a normal kid in the middle.”
The organization gave Williams 72 hours to resign or the title would be taken away from her. So, she gave up the crown. But Williams wasn’t done being in the spotlight.
Just four years after her resignation, the star stepped back into the limelight and released her debut album, The Right Stuff. The album went on to be nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist.
The 2016 Miss America Competition will broadcast live on Sunday, September 13 from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on ABC at 9 p.m.