Exclusive: Vanessa Williams on her mind-blowing history within the sports world
A recording artist who scored her first international hit over 30 years ago with the album The Right Stuff, Vanessa Williams has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, in addition to nominations from the Emmys, Tonys, Golden Globes and NAACP Image Awards.
Especially hard to define as an entertainer, the New York native has also found tremendous success as an actress, producer and fashion designer.
When speaking with Vanessa Williams by phone about her upcoming December 4th and 5th shows at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, I asked what she wished more people knew about her. She referenced liking "fast cars."
I inquired further into that, which led to a discussion about Williams' history within the sports world. To put it simply, she's been to many of the places a major sports fan would want to go.
Highlights from the conversation have been transcribed below:
On her passion for driving fast cars:
Vanessa Williams: I have a Maserati... I did the Simraceway six years ago. I'm about to judge a Drive Toward A Cure down in Atlanta in a couple of weeks. My friend Deb Pollack is a rep for Singer Porsche, so hopefully I'll get to get one and do a lap or so. I guess I'll have to do have a "Flashback Friday" and put my racing picture up. (laughs)
On being a sports fan and working around the sporting world:
Vanessa Williams: I just went to Saratoga. I love-racing, I sang at the Preakness this past year. I've yet to go to the Kentucky Derby because it's the same weekend as my daughter's birthday, which is May 1st. But one of these days I'll be at the Derby; I've been asked several times to attend.
I love tennis, I'm at the U.S. Open every year. My dear friend Katrina Adams was President of the USTA the last four years, so it was lovely sitting in the President's Box next to her. Can't get any closer to the greats than that.
I'm a [New York] Yankees fan. I went to two games this year, which they won. I'm happy they're doing well... Football, [New York] Giants, but I sung at the Super Bowl back in '96 when it was [Dallas] Cowboys [and Pittsburgh] Steelers. I've sung at a [MLB] World Series. I've dipped into everything except soccer, golf and hockey.
Of course the NBA. I was married to Rick Fox who was a [Los Angeles] Laker and won three championships while we were together. I sang for that too. I guess sports has definitely been a part of my life.