Vanessa Williams discography

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Vanessa Williams discography
Vanessa 2.jpg
Vanessa Williams on July 4, 2006
Studio albums 8
Live albums 1
Compilation albums 3
Singles 29
Other appearances 2

Vanessa Williams (born March 18, 1963) is an American actress and singer. In 1983, Williams became the first African–American woman to win the title of Miss America (Miss America 1984). Williams was forced to resign a few weeks prior to the end of her reign on July 22, 1984 due to a scandal surrounding the publication of unauthorized nude photographs in Penthouse magazine. After her resignation as Miss America in 1984, Williams rebounded with a successful career in the entertainment industry. She received a number of Grammy nominations for her work in the music industry, including hits such as "The Right Stuff," "Save the Best for Last," "Colors of the Wind," and "Oh How the Years Go By."

Miss America 1984[edit]

Williams first received public recognition for her musical abilities when she won the preliminary talent portion of the Miss America pageant with her rendition of "Happy Days Are Here Again" (Williams would later be crowned Miss America 1984).[1] In July 1984, after Williams was forced to resign from the Miss America pageant after the unauthorized publication of nude photographs, she turned all of her energies towards a career in entertainment.


Four years later in 1988, Williams released her debut album, The Right Stuff.[2] The first single, "The Right Stuff", found success on the R&B chart, while the second single, "He's Got the Look", found similar success on the same chart. The third single, "Dreamin'", was a pop hit, becoming Williams' first top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 8, and her first number one single on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album reached platinum status in the U.S. and earned her an NAACP Image Award and three Grammy Award nominations, including one for Best New Artist.[2]

Her second album The Comfort Zone became the biggest success in her music career.[2] The lead single "Running Back to You" reached top twenty on the Hot 100, and the top position of Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart on October 5, 1991. Other singles included "The Comfort Zone" (#2 R&B), "Just for Tonight" (#26 Pop), a cover of The Isley Brothers' "Work to Do" (#3 R&B), and the club-only hit "Freedom Dance (Get Free!)." The most successful single from the album, as well as her biggest hit to date, is "Save the Best for Last". It reached No. 1 in the United States, where it remained for five weeks, as well as No. 1 in Australia, the Netherlands, and Canada, and was in the top 5 in Japan, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The album sold 2.2 million copies in the U.S. at its time of release and has since been certified triple platinum in the United States by the RIAA, gold in Canada by the CRIA, and platinum in the United Kingdom by the BPI. The Comfort Zone earned Williams five Grammy Award nominations.[2]

The Sweetest Days, her third album, was released in 1994 to highly-favorable reviews.[2] The album saw Williams branch out and sample other styles of music that included jazz, hip hop, rock, and Latin-themed recordings such as "Betcha Never" and "You Can't Run", both written and produced by Babyface. Other singles from the album included the adult-contemporary and dance hit "The Way That You Love" and the title track "The Sweetest Days". The album was certified platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA and earned her two Grammy Award nominations.[2]

Other releases include two Christmas albums, Star Bright, released in 1996, and Silver & Gold in 2004; Next in 1997, and Everlasting Love in 2005, along with a greatest-hits compilation released in 1998, and a host of other compilations released over the years.[2] Notable chart performances from subsequent albums, motion picture and television soundtracks have included the songs "Love Is", which was a duet with Brian McKnight, the Golden Globe- and Academy Award-winning "Colors of the Wind", "Where Do We Go from Here?", and "Oh How the Years Go By".[2]

On June 2, 2009, she released her eighth studio album on Concord Records titled The Real Thing. It features songs written and/or produced by Babyface, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Bebel Gilberto, and Rex Rideout. Williams described the album as "a hybrid of samba, bossa nova, some salsa and also some pop and R&B". The title song "The Real Thing", the fourth single released from the album, peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.[3]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
1988 The Right Stuff
  • First studio album
  • Release date: February 2, 1988
  • Label: Wing, Mercury
38 18 45
1991 The Comfort Zone
  • Second studio album
  • Release date: August 20, 1991
  • Label: Wing, Mercury
17 1 29 24 52 28 24
1994 The Sweetest Days
  • Third studio album
  • Release date: December 6, 1994
  • Label: Wing, Mercury
57 25 72 74
1996 Star Bright
  • Fourth studio album
  • Release date: November 5, 1996
  • Label: Mercury
36 24
1997 Next
  • Fifth studio album
  • Release date: August 26, 1997
  • Label: Mercury
53 28
2004 Silver & Gold [A]
  • Sixth studio album
  • Release date: October 12, 2004
  • Label: Lava, Atlantic
120 46
2005 Everlasting Love
  • Seventh studio album
  • Release date: January 25, 2005
  • Label: Lava, Atlantic
159 57
2009 The Real Thing [B]
  • Eighth studio album
  • Release date: June 2, 2009
  • Label: Concord
91 36
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.
  • A Peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart and at No. 6 on the ARIA R&B Albums chart.
  • B Peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Jazz Albums chart.

Live albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
2001 Our Favorite Things (with Tony Bennett, Charlotte Church, & Plácido Domingo) [C]
  • First live album
  • Release date: October 16, 2001
  • Label: Sony Classical
102 48 79
  • C Peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Classical Crossover chart and at No. 25 on the Billboard Top Internet Albums chart.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details
1998 Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years
  • First compilation album
  • Released: November 17, 1998
  • Label: Mercury
2003 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Vanessa Williams
  • Second compilation album
  • Released: September 23, 2003
  • Label: Mercury
2004 Love Songs
  • Third compilation album
  • Released: January 13, 2004
  • Label: Mercury


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications Album



1988 "The Right Stuff" [F] 44 4 1 21 71 The Right Stuff
"(He's Got) The Look" 10
"Dreamin'" 8 1 2 16 40 19 74
1989 "Darlin' I" 88 10 10
1991 "Running Back to You" 18 1 2 102 86 The Comfort Zone
"The Comfort Zone" 62 2 25
1992 "Save the Best for Last" 1 1 1 1 1 19 2 4 15 3
"Just for Tonight" 26 11 2 10 46 45
"Work to Do" 52 3 8
1993 "Love Is" (with Brian McKnight) 3 55 1 49 3 (OST) Beverly Hills 90210
1994 "The Sweetest Days" 18 40 3 47 6 41 The Sweetest Days
1995 "The Way That You Love" 67 23 6 39 52
"Colors of the Wind" 4 53 2 16 11 16 8 25 21 (OST) Pocahontas
"You Can't Run" 40 The Sweetest Days
1996 "Where Do We Go from Here?" 71 90 5 29 87 Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years
"Do You Hear What I Hear? 15 Star Bright
1997 "Happiness" 38 70 49 Next
"Oh How the Years Go By" 6
1998 "Who Were You Thinkin' 'Bout?"
"First Thing on Your Mind"
"Refugio de Amor (You Are My Home)" (with Chayanne) [G] (OST) Dance with Me
2004 "Silver and Gold" 4 Silver & Gold
"Merry Christmas Darling" 18
2005 "You Are Everything" 5 16 Everlasting Love
2009 "Breathless" The Real Thing
"Just Friends" [H]
"Close to You"
"The Real Thing" 6
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.
  • F A 1989 remix of the song charted at number 62 in the UK.
  • G Peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart and at No. 5 on the Billboard Tropical/Salsa Songs chart.
  • H Peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart.

Featured singles[edit]

Year Single Artist Peak positions Album
1995 "Freedom (Theme from Panther)" Various Artists 45 18 Panther

Other appearances[edit]

Year Song Album
1994 "Save the Best for Last (Live)"
  • Released on the compilation Grammy's Greatest Moments: Volume II.[16]
"You Would Be My Baby"

Video releases[edit]

Video albums[edit]

Year Title
1989 The Right Stuff
1992 The Comfort Zone Collection
  • Released: 1992
  • Label: Polydor

Concert videos[edit]

Year Video details Notes
1996 Vanessa Williams & Friends: Christmas in New York
1997 Vanessa Williams live in Japan
1998 Pavarotti & Friends for the Children of Liberia
2000 Our Favorite Things: Christmas in Vienna With Tony Bennett and Plácido Domingo
2004 Vanessa Williams Christmas: Live by Request

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Director
1988 "The Right Stuff" Rebecca Blake
"(He's Got) The Look" Alek Keshishian
1989 "Darlin' I"
1991 "Running Back to You" Ralph Ziman
"The Comfort Zone"
1992 "Save the Best for Last"
"Just for Tonight" David Cameron
"Work to Do" Pam Thomas
"What Will I Tell My Heart" Ralph Ziman
"Save the Best for Last" (Holiday Version) Kevin Bray
"What Child Is This?"
1993 "Love Is" (with Brian McKnight) Ralph Ziman
1994 "The Sweetest Days" Kevin Bray
1995 "The Way That You Love" Matthew Rolston
"Freedom (Theme from Panther)" (with Various Artists) Antoine Fuqua
"Colors of the Wind" Dominic Orlando
1996 "Where Do We Go from Here?" Andy Morahan
1997 "Happiness" Francis Lawrence
1998 "Refugio de Amor (You Are My Home)" (with Chayanne) Gustavo Garzón
2009 "Breathless" Mike Ruiz
"Just Friends"
"Close to You"


  • Wiliams, Vanessa and Helen Williams. You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Holly wood, Love, Loss (and Each Other). New York: Gotham/Penguin Group, 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Singleton, Don (1983-09-18). "Vanessa Williams is crowned the first African-American Miss America in 1983". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Vanessa Williams Biography". Retrieved 2015-09-15. 
  3. ^ "Vanessa Williams". Allmusic. Retrieved May 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "US Charts > Vanessa Williams". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  5. ^ a b Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
  6. ^ a b "CAN Charts > Vanessa Williams". RPM. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  7. ^ a b c "GER Charts > Vanessa Williams". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  8. ^ a b "NLD Charts > Vanessa Williams". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  9. ^ a b "UK Charts > Vanessa Williams". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "US Certifications > Vanessa Williams". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  11. ^ "CAN Certifications > Vanessa Williams". Music Canada. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  12. ^ "AUT Charts > Vanessa Williams". Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  13. ^ "IRE Charts Search > Vanessa Williams". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  14. ^ "NZ Charts > Vanessa Williams". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  15. ^ "The ARIA Chart – Best of 1992". (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  16. ^ "Grammy's Greatest Moments Vol. 2: Various Artists". Retrieved 2011-11-25. 

External links[edit]