Women in Music 2016

Vanessa Williams to Return to Miss America for First Time in 32 Years

UPI/Monika Graff /LANDOV
Vanessa Williams performs during the Opening Night Ceremony at the US Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on Aug. 31, 2015.

Vanessa Williams is returning to the Miss America stage this weekend.

For the first time since she was crowned Miss America, Williams will return as head judge of the Miss America pageant. She joins host Chris Harrison, co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet, music curator Nick Jonas and celebrity judges Brett Eldredge, Taya Kyle, Danica McKellar, Kevin O’Leary, Amy Purdy and Zendaya.

Williams made history as the first African-American woman to win the crown back in 1984. She was famously forced to resign 10 months into her reign after nude photos from her past appeared in Penthouse. Since then, Williams has become a celebrated entertainer, with TV roles, albums, and acclaimed Broadway appearances. 

“We recognize that Vanessa’s return to Miss America on Sunday, September 13th is a special cultural and television moment,” said Mike Mahan, President of dick clark productions, in a release. “We are both honored and excited that she will take center stage for the 95th anniversary of the competition.”

The 2016 Miss America Competition airs Sunday Sept. 13 on ABC.