Say hello to your newly-crowned Miss America 2019 … Nia Imani Franklin!
The stunning 25-year-old was a show-stopper during the entire pageant held in Atlantic City Sunday night and was an early favorite right out of the gate. This is the first “post-#MeToo” Miss America pageant, one that replaced the swimsuit competition with on-stage interviews — which, of course, Nia nailed! Along with her beauty and brains, here are 5 things you need to know about Nia:
1. Miss New York Isn’t From New York
Franklin represented New York in the Miss America pageant on Sunday night, but she actually hails from North Carolina. The Winston-Salem native won the Miss New York title earlier this year, but that was after competing for the Miss North Carolina crown in 2016 and unfortunately not securing the W.
2. The Girl’s Got Pipes!
Nia is a fantastic, classically-trained operatic singer who sang “Quando m’en vò” from the opera, La bohème, for the talent portion of the competition. “Advocating for the arts and [making] sure all students have access to a quality education,” was also her platform for the pageant. But Franklin’s gift isn’t something new, she wrote her first song when she was just 5-years-old!
3. Nia Is A Life-Saver … Literally!
Franklin’s father was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin t-cell lymphoma and went through chemotherapy, but relapsed twice. Doctors decided that a stem cell transplant would be the best course of action and Nia happened to be the perfect match! She talked about the life-saving procedure on her Instagram page…
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Did you know I was once a patient at a CMN Hospital? When my dad was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin t-cell lymphoma, he went through chemotherapy but relapsed twice. Finally, his doctors at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC, decided that a stem cell transplant would be the best chance at saving his life. They sent him to Duke Medical Center in Durham, NC, which is a CMN hospital. And I was the best stem cell donor match for him. I thank God for saving his life through this miraculous procedure! I haven’t shared this picture before. In fact, only family and close friends have seen it. I was embarrassed because I was so bloated. (So vain, I know) The bloating resulted from a series of injections to get my blood ready. I am now empowered by this photo when I look at it. I know that I made a difference in my daddy’s life and that is nothing to be ashamed of. My dad received his stem cell transplant on May 1, 2013, and he is alive and thriving, all to the glory of God and his awesome medical team at Duke Medical! The nurses were so sweet, and put a halo on my head because they said I was my daddy’s “angel!” I hope this encourages you to share and speak your truth because you never know who you will inspire and help. #GodisGood #stemcells
4. She’s Just Like Us!
Looks like Nia can get jiggy with a Youtube beauty tutorial just like the rest of us ladies — we feel that.
5. Nia Has BIG Dreams!
Now that Nia is the new Miss America she’s not resting on her laurels, she’s focused on making her ultimate dream come true — Being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. For now though, she’ll settle on sharing her voice with anyone who will listen, especially when doing it for the organization “Sing For Hope”.
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Literally wrote this song when I was 14, but it will always be on my set list no matter what✨ One of my career goals is to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame one day. Future Nia can do it. Present Nia is working towards it. And 14-year-old Nia would be so proud ♥️ • • • Thank you Sing For Hope for continuously believing in me and making today’s concert possible.🎙#songwriter #femalecomposer
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