Wendy Williams (radio host)
Wendy Joan Williams (born July 18, 1964) is an American
talk radiohostess, television personality, and "New York Times" bestselling author. Williams is best known for being a DJ in New York, where she gossips about celebrities and conducts interviews with famous people; she has also gained notoriety for her on-air spats with celebrities, most notably Whitney Houston. Since the early 2000s, Wendy Williams has hosted the highest rated weekday syndicated radio broadcast named "The Wendy Williams Experience", on WBLS 107.5 FM radio station in New York City.
Wendy Williams was born in Ocean Township,
New Jerseyin 1964, and raised in the Wayside section. [Fishman, Steve. [http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/features/14790/index1.html "How New York's Shock Jockette Got Supersized"] , " New York (magazine)", October 16, 2005. Accessed December 3, 2007. "As a youngster, Wendy did not seem destined for success on the radio, or anywhere else. She grew up in Wayside, New Jersey, a lower-class part of Ocean Township, one of four black students in her class, and one of the heaviest of any race."] There she graduated from Ocean Township High School.Neglia, Ashley V. [http://njmonthly.com/articles/lifestyle/njmyway/mixing-media.html "Mixing Media"] , " New Jersey Monthly", June 9, 2008. Accessed July 22, 2008.] From 1982 to 1986, Williams attended Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she majored in communications and was also a DJfor the college radio station WRBB104.9 FM. Williams also interned at WXKS-FM("Kiss 108") in Boston. She later became a DJ for radio station WVISin St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and after eight months there, accepted a job at oldiesstation WOLin Washington D.C.. Wendy Williams then entered the New York market, where she worked for the FM stations WPLJand " Hot 97".
In 1989, Wendy Williams began working at "98.7 Kiss FM" in New York City as a fill-in DJ. As rival station
WBLSbegan hiring away staff from that station, Kiss FM hired her full-time for its morning show and gave her a non-compete clausecontract; at this time she started her trademark of talking about celebrities, giving listeners the dirt on their personal lives. A year later, Ms. Williams landed her own 6-10 p.m. shift, eventually winning the "Billboard" Award for Best On-Air Radio Personality in 1993. The following year after her Billboard award Emmis Broadcastingbought out Kiss FM and switched Williams to the company's Hot 97.
Ms. Williams was fired from Hot 97 in 1998 for allegedly getting in a fight with her co-worker
Angie Martinez, while outing her romantic relationship with rapper Q-Tip. In her "New York Times" bestselling autobiography "Wendy's Got the Heat"Bernard, Audrey J. [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-111590555.html "YOU GO, GIRL! Wendy Williams' turns up the heat with sizzling new CD"] , "The New York Beacon", June 22, 2005. Accessed July 22, 2008. "Currently, Wendy's outstanding media career"] , Williams praised Martinez while acknowledging a mostly verbal confrontation. Williams stated that the station used the incident as an excuse to terminate her contract, and suggested that it was really pressure from hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combswhich led to her dismissal. She alludes to this in her second book "The Wendy Williams Experience", when she wrote "He single-handedly tried to ruin me. . .".
After the Hot97 incident, Ms. Williams was hired by a Philadelphia station
WUSL("Power 99FM"), claiming her New York fans "left her for dead".
In 2001, Wendy Williams returned to the New York airwaves when WBLS hired her full-time for her own syndicated 2-6 p.m. (the show continues to run until 7 p.m. in the
New York metropolitan area, in which they call it "the bonus hour".) As of 2008, she is syndicated in Redondo Beach, California(on a station which services the Los Angelesmetropolitan area); Shreveport, Louisiana; Wilmington, Delaware; Toledo, Ohio; Columbia, South Carolina, Emporia, Virginia, Lake Charles, Louisiana, Tyler, Texas, and Alexandria, Louisiana, among other markets.
Williams' interview style is brash, and she refers to herself, a la
Howard Stern, as the "Queen Of All Media". In her television and radio shows, she dishes celebrity gossip, conducts interviews and speaks her mind about current events. Williams has admitted to previous cocaine dependence, miscarriages, as well as having liposuctionas well as breast implant surgery. She has hosted several installments of "Wendy Williams is on Fire" for VH1, and on October 20, 2006, " The Wendy Williams Experience" premiered as a late-night series.
Williams has published several books including the paperback novel "Drama is Her Middle Name: The Ritz Harper Chronicles Vol. 1" (2006), which is co-authored by
In 2003, Williams interviewed
R&Bsinger Blu Cantrell, asking questions about her sexual activities and practices, criticizing other R&B artists, and her drug abuse. This interview was sold as a bonus DVD with Cantrell's "Bittersweet" album.
In 2006, Wendy Williams introduced co-host "Charlemagne tha God.". Charlemagne hails from
Moncks Corner, South Carolinaand is a convicted felon. Charlemagne was released from his deejay position at Columbia's WHXT Hot 103.9 after a heated interview with Buffie "The Body". Williams also became a spokesmodelfor Georges Veselle champagne.
In October 2007, Williams filled in for
Jodi Applegateon WNYW's morning television show " Good Day New York".
On July 14, 2008, Debmar-Mercury Productions began airing a new live one-hour talk show hosted by Wendy Williams. The programs will begin airing on stations in
Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas and Detroit, with the hope that "The Wendy Williams Show" will be picked up for syndication in fall 2008. In the New York market, the program has been promoted via commercials showing Williams saying, "If you're my friend, you're my friend. If I'm your friend, I'm your friend."Drake, Monica. [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/arts/television/13drak.html?scp=3&sq=%22wendy%20williams%22&st=cse "A Radio Shock Jock Who’s Ready for TV"] , " The New York Times", July 13, 2008. Accessed July 22, 2008.]
During her time in Washington, D.C., Wendy Williams was addicted to
cocaine, from which she has since recovered. While in New York, Williams went through a divorce and several miscarriages before marrying Kevin Hunter in 1999; a year later, she gave birth to her first son, Kevin Hunter Jr. During her pregnancy, Williams found out that Hunter was cheating on her. Despite Hunter's alleged infidelity, Williams and Hunter later reconciled and remain married today. After the birth of Kevin Jr., Williams suffered from a weight problem and had liposuctionand breast implantssurgery, augmenting her breasts from an A cup to a DD cup. She has also admitted on her talk show to having botox injections. Williams and her family currently reside in Montclair, New Jersey.
In an incident on her
Hot 97show in 1995, Wendy notoriously aired rumors that Tupac Shakurwas raped in prison. Shakur was furious over the rumor, which New Jersey underground rapper Chino XLreferenced in a song, "Riot". Shakur later addressed Wendy Williams on the song "Why U Wanna Turn On Me?", which remained unreleased until his death in 1996. In the song, Shakur insults Williams mainly in the last verse and the outro, stating that he prays she "chokes on the next dick down [her] throat" and refers to her as a "fat troll," and threatening a $20,000 hit on her—a hit through Jenny Craigthat is. Shakur's former boss, Suge Knight, however, has since become a frequent guest on the Wendy Williams' WBLSshow.
In 2003, Wendy Williams caused controversy while interviewing
Whitney Houstonon her alleged drug habits and tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown. At several points in the interview, Houston berated Wendy with expletives and told Williams "if this were back in the day in Newark I'd meet you outside, but not now, because I'm a lady with class."
Wendy Williams also been addressed in song lyrics by several artists, among them
Will Smith, Lil' Kim, and Mariah Carey. In Will Smith's track "Mr Niceguy", he mentions Williams by singing:
"Wendy Williams, you don't know me,
"I'm not your punching bag, you won't blow me... up."
"Girl better leave me alone,"
"Before I buy your radio station and send ya home..."
A portion of Lil'Kim's track,
Shut Up Bitchsays:
"Don't come around here with that Wendy Williams shit / get your facts straight or shut up bitch!"
Mariah Carey's new single "
Touch My Body", alludes to Ms. Williams as the person whom Ms. Carey compares to other people invading her personal space: "Cause they be all up in my business like a Wendy interview."
On March 25, 2008, the "
New York Post" reported that Nicole Spence, talent booker for the Wendy Williams experience, filed papers with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissionsuing Williams. Spence, 27, claims that Wendy's husband, Kevin Hunter, 33, demanded sex from her on many occasions and created a hostile work environment by threatening and assaulting his wife on company premises. "Mr. Hunter repeatedly sexually propositioned me at work in the most crude and vulgar ways, telling me over and over that he wanted to 'f- - -' me," Spence states. Spence also says that Williams did nothing to stop the alleged abuse, and in fact "offered to take me shopping so I could dress 'like a sexy little bitch,' as Mr. Hunter demanded." Both Williams and Hunter deny the charges. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,341448,00.html "Court Papers: DJ Wendy Williams' Husband Beat Her, Propositioned Aide for Sex"] , " Fox News Channel", March 25, 2008. Accessed July 22, 2008.] [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/06/12/entertainment/main4177283.shtml?source=related_story "Buzz Briefs: Jay-Z, R. Kelly"] , " CBS News",June 12, 2008.]
In 2006, Wendy Williams announced that she was in the planning stages of making a movie about her life. "
Queen of Media" was written by Jim Yoakum, with Furqaan Clover (who also directed) and Kimba Henriques. It stars Robin Givensin the lead role of Wendy Williams. Filming wrapped up in late August, 2008 and is set to be released in 2009. After Wendy's talk show premiered, producers thought that the movie needed a different ending, which they filmed August 18th. Wendy announced this on her radio show and also said that she wasn't really sure when it will be out.
Other notable cast members include
Trey Songzand Chandra 'Deelishis' Davis.
On July 14, 2008, Williams debuted her new daytime talk show "The Wendy Williams Show" on FOX 5 in New York My 13 and FOX 11 in L.A. The show aired in New York, Dallas, Detroit, and Los Angeles during summer 2008 for a test run. FOX Television Stations signed a deal with syndication company Debmar-Mercury at the end of the test to broadcast the show on its station group beginning in July, 2009.
* Wendy Williams has won "Radio Personality Of The Year" awards from both "
Billboard" and " Radio & Records" industry magazines.
The Wendy Williams Experience"
* [http://www.wendywilliamstvshow.com The Official Wendy Williams Show Website]
* [http://www.myspace.com/wendywilliams Myspace Page]
* [http://www.thewendywilliamsexperience.com Wendy Williams' Official Website]
* [http://www.aurn.com/networks/renaissance/down_lo.asp On the Down Lo with Wendy Williams]
*imdb name|id=1829292|name=Wendy Williams
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