Internationally-renowned singer and actress Vanessa Williams, releases her thirteenth album and debut on Concord Records entitled fThe Real Thing. The collection marks a return to her love for the rhythms of jazz and Latin music, a key part of her musical roots. In addition, The Real Thing delves into the sophisticated pop and R&B that have been the hallmark of her dynamic musical career.
The Real Thing is a passionate song cycle about relationships, and Williams hand-picked each song on the record as it relates to a phase of the modern-day love affair seen from a woman’s perspective. From the two new songs penned for the CD by Babyface (“Loving You” and “Just Friends”) to “Hello Like Before” by Bill Withers (Williams’ late father’s favorite artist) to Stevie Wonder’s “The Real Thing” to Babel Gilberto’s “Close To You,” The Real Thing taps into the wide breadth of Williams’ musicality and artistry.
“After playing a power-hungry character like Wilhelmina Slater on “Ugly Betty” on a soundstage for three seasons, it was a pleasure to step back into the recording studio and be myself behind the microphone,” stated Ms. Williams. “The familiarity and comfort of making music is always a joy to come home to. It was especially a treat to sing Phil Galdston's "I Fell In.” Our biggest hit together was "Save the Best for Last.”
“Vanessa Williams in an artist of rare talent, depth and creativity,” states Concord Music Group executive vice-president of A&R, John Burk. “In this album she explores her musical range and influences perhaps more so than ever before. We couldn’t be more proud to have her as a member of the Concord family.”
With a career spanning over 20 years, Williams is the consummate performer. From her chart-topping pop star music career, to her Emmy-nominated role on “Ugly Betty” and her upcoming co-starring performance in the feature film “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” Vanessa Williams remains one of the industry’s most, versatile and accomplished artists. She has appeared in numerous films including “Soul Food,” “Eraser,” “The Pick-Up Artist” and “Shaft,” and has numerous television credits to her name as well as critically-acclaimed performances on Broadway in “Kiss Of The Spider Woman” and “Into The Woods,” which garnered her a Tony nomination.
Since the release of her first studio album, 1988’s The Right Stuff, Williams has garnered a total of 16 Grammy nominations, released seven albums of original material, as well as four compilations and two holiday-themed albums, selling millions of albums world-wide. 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 Grammy for “Best Song In A Motion Picture.” The Real Thing is her first studio album since 2005’s Everlasting Love.
Vanessa Williams’ 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. She is also well-known for her outspoken support of gay rights, having won the Human Rights Campaign "Ally for Equality" award in 2008. She is on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics, as well as the Board or Advisors for the Westchester Children’s Museum and supports numerous other charitable and humanitarian organizations.