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2016 Miss America Competition - Show

Source: Donald Kravitz / Getty

Vanessa Williams was well recieved on the Miss America stage last night, as pageant executive chairman Sam Haskell  welcomed her back and apologized on behalf of the organization. Williams, became the first black woman to win the pageant in 1984, but then was forced to relinquish her crown in the wake of a nude photo scandal.  Haskell told Williams (and her mother), “I want to apologize for anything that was said or done that made you feel any less than the Miss America you are and the Miss America you always will be.”  Williams also sang Amy Grant’s “Oh How the Years Go By” on the show, and at 52 her beauty easily upstaged today’s younger contestants.

Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell was crowned Miss America 2016 last night, ending New York’s three year reign with the crown.