By the end of the Miss America 2020 pageant on Thursday, December 19, one of the beautiful and accomplished contestants will be crowned the new Miss America. But, who will be giving up her crown in order to make way for her predecessor? Who will be relinquishing her title as Miss America 2019 after a year of service in the coveted role?
Miss America 2019 is Nia Franklin. Se won the title on September 9, 2018, after competing in the Miss America pageant as Miss New York 2018.
On the morning of the Miss America 2020 pageant, Nia shared a post on her Instagram reflecting on her year as Miss America. In the caption, she wrote “September 9, 2018, my life changed forever. 465 days later I’m stronger, more compassionate, more forgiving, and ready to use my gifts and talents to enhance the world like never before. God simply did that. Tonight I’ll become 1 of only 93 women in the nation’s history that have represented as Miss America and worn the extraordinary crown. The 9th Black Miss America. The first Miss America 2.0. The first time 5 women of color held titles we once weren’t even considered worthy of. I never thought I’d be here ten years ago, or even 5 years ago. @missamerica basically wiped out all but $2,000 of my roughly $70,000 student debt and to think…I almost didn’t take the last chance I had to get here. I hope anyone who reads this always tries one. more. time.”
Nia Spent the Past Year Making Numerous Appearances as Miss America
As Miss America, one of Nia Franklin’s responsibilities throughout the year was to make appearances at important national events. Recently, you may have seen her at the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting, or on a float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Since Franklin is from New York originally and won the Miss America title as Miss New York, it makes sense that many of her appearances have been New York-based, representing her home state and city with pride.
In October, she appeared on the digital cover of Essence Magazine. The cover celebrated the history made in 2019 when, for the first time, Miss America, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA were titles all crowned to black women.
Nia Is a Teacher, Songwriter & Trained Opera Singer
Once her reign as Miss America 2019 comes to an end, Nia will likely continue to focus her time and energy on the numerous ways in which music is an important part of her life. For the talent portion of the Miss America pageant, Franklin sang “Quando m’en Vo’” from Puccini’s La Boheme, showing off her classically-trained opera skills.
In addition to pageantry, Franklin uses her talents to write her own music, as well as teach and mentor. According to her bio on MissAmerica.org, even before she became Miss America, Franklin partnered with “Sing for Hope,” a nonprofit organization that works towards using the power of music to make a better world.
On Instagram, she shares her original songs and recordings with her over 64,000 followers. Perhaps she will pursue a music career after passing on the crown to Miss America 2020?
Tune in to the 2020 Miss America pageant, Thursday, December 19 at 8/7c on ABC.