In Conversation with Vanessa Williams
hosted by Edward Seckerson
Sun 26 Apr 14:00
Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in the entertainment industry today.
Having sold millions of records worldwide, Vanessa has also achieved numerous #1 and Top 10 hits on various Billboard Album and Singles charts: Pop, Dance, R&B, Adult Contemporary, Holiday, Latin, Gospel and Jazz.
Her critically acclaimed work in film, television, recordings and the Broadway stage has been recognized by every major industry award affiliate including 4 Emmy nominations, 11 Grammy nominations, a Tony nomination, 3 SAG award nominations, 7 NAACP Image Awards and 3 Satellite Awards. Her platinum single Colors of the Wind, from the Disney’s Pocahontas, won the Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
A graduate of Syracuse University, Vanessa is a strong advocate for equal rights, especially concerning the gay community and minorities. She was honored with the Human Rights Campaign “Ally for Equality” Award for her humanitarian contributions. Vanessa also achieved a career pinnacle with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.
Vanessa’s autobiography, You Have No Idea, co-written with her mother Helen Williams, was a New York Times Best Seller in 2012. Her recent Broadway credits include co-starring with Cicely Tyson in The Trip to Bountiful, (the #1 play of the 2013 season), After Midnight (2014), and a special limited engagement in Hey, Look Me Over at New York City Center in 2018.
Vanessa is the mother of four – Melanie, Jillian, Devin and Sasha. Her charitable endeavors are many and varied, embracing and supporting such organizations as Concerts for America, Special Olympics and several others.
Vanessa is one of the world’s most accomplished concert artists, appearing regularly with the most prestigious symphony orchestras in the world. In 2019, Vanessa performed with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center.
Formerly Chief Classical Music Critic of The Independent, Edward Seckerson is a writer, broadcaster, podcaster, and musical theatre obsessive. He wrote and presented the long-running BBC Radio 3 series “Stage & Screen”, in which he interviewed many of the biggest names in the business – among them Julie Andrews, Angela Lansbury, Liza Minnelli, Stephen Sondheim, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. During his journalistic career he has written for most major music publications and is still on the panel of Gramophone magazine. He appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and 4 and presented the 2007 series of the musical quiz Counterpoint. On television, he has commentated a number of times at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. He has published books on Mahler and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.