Vanessa Williams Will Return To Miss America Pageant For First Time In 32 Years

Vanessa Williams, star of stage, screen and the recording industry, has agreed to return to the Miss America pageant for the first time in 32 years. She will take part in the pageant’s festivities as head judge.

Many will remember that Williams made history in 1984 by becoming the first African-American to be crowned Miss America.

But just weeks before the end of her one year reign, she was forced to relinquish her crown due to Penthouse Magazine publishing nude photos of Williams without her consent.

It’s no secret to readers here on The Randy Report that Vanessa and I are friends since college. I knew her and cheered for her when she won the title. She’s still one of my favorite talents, and a close friend whom I adore.

I also booed the Miss America pageant for not having the courage to stand by Vanessa in the midst of the scandal. And I haven’t watched the TV presentation since that day.

Of course, since then Vanessa has conquered just about every aspect of the entertainment industry with 11 Grammy Award nominations, 3 Emmy Award nominations, a Tony Award nomination, and tons of other high profile accolades. Fans know her hit songs, her roles on “Desperate Housewives” and “Ugly Betty,” plus starring on Broadway in “Kiss Of The Spiderwpman,” “Into The Woods,” “Sondheim On Sondheim,” and “Trip To Bountiful.”

AND – she is a huge equal rights/LGBT ally, having been honored with the Human Rights Campaign’s Ally for Equality Award, among many others, for her humanitarian contributions.

As always, success is the best revenge.

Ratings for the beauty pageant have suffered for years, so it’s clear the folks at Miss America are hoping for a bump via Vanessa’s star power.

ABC will air this year’s Miss America competition live starting at 9 p.m. ET on Sept. 13. It faces stiff competition from NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

With Vanessa Williams backstage at “Trip To Bountiful” in LA