Alright now, Aggie Pride! American actress and North Carolina A&T University alumna, NaTasha Yvette Williams won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album at this Sunday’s 66th Grammy Awards. Williams won as a principal vocalist in the original broadway album, Some Like It Hot.
Williams did not cross the stage on live television, as her category was given out before the broadcast portion, but an earlier snippet of her walking the red carpet had photographers showing the 1992 N.C. A&T theater graduate lots of love.
This was Williams’ second Grammy Awards nomination. She was previously nominated as part of an ensemble cast in 2012 for a Broadway musical.
“Some Like It Hot” , which ended it’s Broadway run this past December, is the story of two musicians forced to flee the Windy City after witnessing a mob hit. With gangsters hot on their heels, they join an all-girl band and catch a cross-country train for a life-chasing, life-changing trip.
Williams graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s Theatre Arts Program in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) in 1992. She holds a BFA from A&T and an MFA in acting from Michigan State University.
Williams, who received the Alumni Achievement Award from CAHSS in 2021, received rave reviews for her performance as band leader Sweet Sue. “Every time NaTasha Yvette Williams was on the stage as the acerbic Sweet Sue, she threatened to run away with the entire show,” said Entertainment Weekly.
The album also received 13 nominations for the 2023 Tony Awards, which have recognized distinguished achievement in American theatre since 1947.
At a pre-Grammy party in her honor, she was feted by other A&T theater graduates, fellow thespians from a long career on Broadway and TV, and those who honored her from afar.
“We laughed and cried and joked about our time at A&T,” she said of those who had been in the theater program with her. “We talked about Dr. (H.D.) Flowers (who lead the theater program) and Frankie Day (former professor and program director in theater arts).”
She has used all of the training she received at A&T. “I would tell the students in the program now to take it all in so you can give it all because everything we needed we got in those rooms,” Williams said.
Williams has previously portrayed Aretha Franklin in “A Night with Janis Joplin,” and has appeared in George “Porgy and Bess” and “The Color Purple.” She’s performed with the Indianapolis Symphony, Naples Philharmonic and Baltimore Symphony orchestras. In 2021, she starred in the Broadway family comedy “Chicken and Biscuits.”
Her current recording project is How Deep is the Ocean, a collection of standards, and she has released a Gospel project, Songs That Carry Me Through … Some Old, Some New.
Regional appearances have included Crowns at Arkansas Repertory Theater and Arena Stage (Velma and Mabel, respectively), Marc Shaiman’s Hairspray (MotorMouth Maybelle) and Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Papermill Playhouse, and the title role in Mahalia: A Gospel Musical at the Cleveland Playhouse. These performances will mark NaTasha Yvette Williams’s New York Philharmonic debut.