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Vanessa Williams

In 1984, Williams crashed the color barrier when she became the first African American to be named Miss America. But her victory was short-lived after nude photos of her, with lesbian overtones, were published by Penthouse. Williams was forced to abdicate her crown, but the actress-singer has had the last laugh, establishing a career as a singer and actress. She's given well-received performances in such Broadway hits as "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "Into the Woods" and sold more than 6 million albums of her music. Williams starred in "Ugly Betty" and "Desperate Housewives" too. D Dipasupil / Getty Images
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