Nia Imani Franklin crowned Miss America


The Miss America tiara is coming to back to the Big Apple.Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin was crowned pageant champion on Sunday night after beating out 51 women in this year’s historic competition — which was the first to not feature swimsuits.

The classical vocalist not only impressed the Atlantic City judges with her musical chops, but her love and dedication to her craft, as well.“Although I was a minority in my school, I connected with my peers based on our mutual love of the arts,” Franklin explained during her onstage interview.

“My dedication to the arts influenced my educational choices, resulting in my master of music composition degree.”The North Carolina native is the fourth Miss New York to be crowned Miss America. The other winners include a three year stretch from 2013-2015 in which Mallory Hagan, Nina Davuluri and Kira Kazantsev all won for the Empire State.

The runner-ups on Sunday night were Miss Connecticut Bridget Oei, Miss Louisiana Holli’ Conway, Miss Florida Taylor Tyson, and Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras.This year’s Miss America competition comes during a heated time for the pageant.

National chairwoman Gretchen Carlson and CO Regina Hopper have been receiving calls to resign after outgoing champion Cara Mund came forward and accused them of bullying and silencing her.

The pair also caused an uproar last winter when emails surfaced, showing inappropriate comments they made about former Miss Americas. They later tried to change the culture of the competition — dubbing it “Miss America 2.0” and removing the swimsuit portion of the show.