URBAN POP CULTURE

Vanessa Williams’ 11 Most Beautiful & Soothing Ballads

VanessaWilliams

She is an American beauty queen who broke barriers for the acceptance of Black American beauty.  She is an actress who lit up the screens and stages for more than 30 years.  She is an accomplished singer and dancer who created 1980’s and 1990’s soulful pop classics that topped the charts and made an impact in the adult contemporary, smooth jazz, traditional pop and holiday music genres since.

She is the Billboard Music Award & NAACP Image Award winner — and Miss America 1984 – Vanessa L. Williams.

Williams is a rare quadruple threat who has mastered, and been awarded, in many forms of mainstream entertainment with great successes following her crafts.  As Miss America 1984, she became the first Black American contestant in the event’s then-63 year history to win the prestigious title.  As a film actress, Williams starred in box office hits and 90’s classics including Erasure, Soul Food and Shaft.  In television, Williams made a lasting impression in American pop culture with her starring roles in 2000’s hit series “Ugly Betty” and “Desperate Housewives.”

The aforementioned accomplishments became realities for Williams’ career because of the one talent that made American audiences adore her — singing.  Giving a rousing rendition of Barbra Streisand’s “Happy Days Are Here Again” helped Williams earn her title of Miss America in 1984, and it was her vocal gift that put her back in the public eye after a scandal caused her public fall from grace for a few years after her pageant win.

Vanessa Williams signed a music recording contract with Wing/Mercury Records during the late-1980’s and released her debut album The Right Stuff in 1988.  Her chart successes with contemporary uptempo jams and soulful ballads also broke another barrier in the entertainment industry as being the first American beauty pageant winner who triumphed as a major talent in the entertainment industry.  Williams followed up Right Stuff with her best-selling album of her career titled The Comfort Zone, a collection of R&B hit singles and a pop music ballad (“Save The Best For Last”) that topped the charts in North America, Europe and Australia.  Largely to the success of “Best,”  Williams has released many more albums and soundtrack singles that focused on beautiful ballads being the centerpieces of her bodies of work.

From “Dreamin'” to “Love Is” and “How The Years Go By” and “Breathless,” Vanessa Williams possesses a beautiful voice who fits the soothing sounds of piano keys, bass guitars and light percussion that paint a great ballad of a love song.  Thus, I have compiled a list of my favorite 11 ballads recorded by “The Right Stuff” songstress, and one of my favorite — and most criminally underrated and underpromoted — vocalists, Vanessa Williams — all of which are commercial singles in her discography.

Enjoy!

“Darlin’ I”
album: The Right Stuff (1989)

“Dreamin'”
album: The Right Stuff (1988)

“Save The Best For Last”
album: The Comfort Zone (1992)

“Just For Tonight”
album: The Comfort Zone (1992)

“Love Is” (with Brian McKnight)
album: Beverly Hills 90210 soundtrack (1993)

“The Sweetest Days”
album: The Sweetest Days (1994)

“You Can’t Run”
album: The Sweetest Days (1994)

“Colors Of The Wind”
album: Pocahontas soundtrack (1995)

“Where Do We Go From Here”
album: Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years (1996)

“Oh How The Years Go By”
album: Next (1998)

“Breathless”
album: The Real Thing (2009)

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30-something. God's Favorite. Luella's Grandson. Waddie's Son. Virgo. Blogger. Online Media Producer. R&B Junkie. Foodie. Wannabe Health Nut. Conversationalist. Afrocentric. Unapologetically Gay. Blessed. Born In Sacramento. Raised In Kansas City. Developed In Atlanta. Matured In Chicago. Reside In Brooklyn.