Miss America 2.0

Nia Imani Franklin

Miss America 2019
New York 2018

Miss America 2019
Nia Imani Franklin

Classically trained opera singer and advocate for the arts

Miss America 2019
Nia Imani Franklin

Classically trained opera singer and advocate for the arts

Photo credit: Yachin Parham

“I have New York grit…
I understand what it means to work hard.”

Nia Franklin was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and lived in the state through graduate school. She earned an undergraduate degree in composition from East Carolina University, and a master’s in fine arts from The University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts. Shortly after, Nia was awarded a Kenan Fellowship at New York’s Lincoln Center Education and made the move to New York City. She currently resides in Brooklyn.

During Nia’s college freshman year, her father was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and she became his stem cell donor. This turn of events led Nia to the Miss America Organization. “I had to find a way to pay for myself to go to school and so I entered this competition and this organization and it became much more than just the scholarship money for me, it was also about the mentorship, leadership and sisterhood you find in this program.”

Nia was crowned Miss Five Boroughs at the age of 23, and then went on to win Miss New York 2018. And was awarded the job of Miss America 2019 on September 9, 2018.

Nia has been a teacher and music mentor, and has written over 100 songs, including one she began performing at age five. (The lyrics begin: “Love, love, love, love, love is the only thing that matters to me…”).  For the Miss America 2019 competition, Franklin sang “Quando m’en Vo'” from Puccini’s La Boheme and wowed audiences and judges alike.

Nia, a classically trained opera singer, uses her voice to transform lives through art.

In speaking about her passion for the arts, Nia quoted Gandhi saying: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” And that is clearly something Nia lives by.

While in college, she was a member of ArtistCorps, which works to place artists in public schools to help high-need students.

When she made the move to New York, Nia teamed up with Sing for Hope, a nonprofit organization focused creating a better world through the power of music. Since 2006, Sing for Hope has reached 40,000 schoolchildren and placed 450 artist-created Sing for Hope Pianos throughout public spaces, hospitals, and schools.

Learn more about Nia’s involvement with Sing for Hope:

Follow Nia’s Journey

Miss America8 hours ago

Couldn’t be happier to have had my very first appearance at Texas Avenue School this morning! They gave me the warmest of welcomes (peep the not one but, two signs they had waiting for me) This school has such a fantastic group of kids! ♥️😊...

Miss America20 hours ago

❤️💛❤️💛❤️💛❤️ 💛❤️💛❤️💛❤️One of the sweetest moments of being being crowned Miss America. @christianguardino I owe you a classical voice lesson - don’t think I forgot. 😉😉 #cmnhospitals

Nia Franklin3 days ago

@anthonyanderson thank you for reaching out!!!! 🙌🏾 So excited to be your Miss America ❤️❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/nfcIwxiLeo

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