36. Vanessa Williams
Band Or Solo Artist?: Solo
Genre: Pop, R&B, Soul, Jazz
Greatest Hit: "Save the Best for Last" (1992)
Vanessa Williams became the first African American woman to be crowed Miss America back in 1983, but after Penthouse magazine published nude photos of her, she had to give up her title. Her career wasn't over, though, and she ended up dominating R&B and pop music for years.
The Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Awards nominations flooded in after dropping her debut album The Right Stuff in 1988, and The Comfort Zone in 1991, which topped the R&B Album Chart, and had the No. 1 hit, "Save the Best for Last." As for her Oscar nod, she earned that after singing "Colors of the Wind" on Disney's Pocahontas soundtrack. Looks like Miss America did nothing but good for Ms. Williams.