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, and has sold millions of albums worldwide. Vanessa has also achieved widespread critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television.
Vanessa releases her thirteenth album and debut for Concord Records entitled The Real Thing. The collection marks a return to her love for the rhythms of jazz and Latin music, an integral 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. From the two new songs penned for the CD by Babyface ("Loving You" and "Just Friends") to "Hello Like Before" by Bill Withers 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.
Vanessa's albums "The Right Stuff," "The Comfort Zone and "The Sweetest Days" earned multiple Grammy nominations and have yielded such classic hits as "Save the Best For Last," "Dreamin," "Work To Do" and "Love Is," and the Academy Award-winning single "Colors of the Wind," from Disney's "Pocahontas," among many others. Her recordings also include two holiday albums, "Star Bright" and "Silver & Gold," "Vanessa Williams Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years" and "Everlasting Love," a romantic collection of love songs from the 1970's.
In 1994, Vanessa took Broadway by storm when she replaced Chita Rivera in "Kiss of the Spider Woman," winning the hearts of critics and becoming a box-office sensation. She garnered rave reviews and was nominated for a Tony Award for the 2002 revival of "Into the Woods." She also headlined a limited special engagement of the classic, "Carmen Jones," at the Kennedy Center and starred in the Encore! Series staged concert production of "St. Louis Woman."
Vanessa made her film debut in 1986 in "Under the Gun." She has starred in such features as "Eraser," "Hoodlum," "Soul Food," "Dance With Me," "Light It Up," "Shaft" and "Johnson Family Vacation." She starred recently in the independent features, "My Brother" and "Somebody Like You" and co-stars in Disney's new feature film, "Hannah Montana: The Movie."
On television, Vanessa has starred in such movies and mini-series as "Stompin' at the Savoy," "The Boy Who Loved Christmas," "The Jacksons: An American Dream," ABC's revival of "Bye, Bye Birdie," "Nothing Lasts Forever," "The Odyssey," "Don Quixote" and "Keep the Faith, Baby," and she executive produced and starred in Lifetime's "The Courage to Love" for Lifetime and the VH1 Original Movie, "A Diva's Christmas Carol." She stars in ABC's critically-acclaimed hit series, "Ugly Betty," currently in its third season, and for which she has won or been nominated for numerous individual and ensemble awards, including the Emmy, SAG Award, Golden Globe and NAACP Image Awards.
In 2007, Vanessa achieved a career pinnacle, with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her accomplishments as a performer. Her charitable endeavors are many and varied, embracing and supporting such organizations as Special Olympics and many others.