No one does it quite like Wendy Williams. The inimitable talk show host has built an unforgettable legacy across TV and radio, leaving fans thirsty for her controversial hot takes and the latest in pop news. The media mogul has ruffled a few feathers over the years due to her unfiltered interviews and segments. Still, regardless of whether you hated or loved her, there’s no question that Williams has left an undeniable mark in entertainment over the last decade. She’s been through one heck of a journey to be where she is today, too!
In honor of Wendy’s 58th birthday today, let’s look back at the star’s meteoric rise to fame and why she’s been dubbed “The Queen of All Media.”
1. She Got Her First Radio Gig In The Virgin IslandsSource:Getty
Williams graduated from Northeastern University in 1986 with a degree in communications and a minor in journalism. She landed her first job as an on-air host in the Virgin Islands, making a measly $3.75 an hour, according to Women’s Health.
2. Wendy Takes Hot 97 By StormSource:Getty
Upon her return to New York City in the late 80s, Wendy grew notoriety as a shock jockette on Emmis Communication’s number 1 hip-hop and R&B station Hot 97. Millions of listeners tuned in to hear her firey on-air spats with big celebs and off-the-cuff pop news stories, but she later left the station in 1998 after making a few star-studded enemies, The Washington Post noted.
3. The Wendy Williams ExperienceSource:Getty
In 2004, Wendy launched her own show called The Wendy Williams Experience which chronicled her time as a radio host at WBLS. It was a major hit, pulling in over 12 million listeners a show. Two years later, the nationally syndicated show was picked up by VH1, and it became the subject of a reality TV series.
Williams was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2009 due to the show’s success.
4. The Wendy Williams ShowSource:Getty
After 23 years on air, Williams received another blessing in 2008, when Debmar-Mercury offered her a six-week television trial to launch her very own talk show.
The Wendy Williams Show pilot episode aired on July 14, 2008, and the rest was history. After a successful run, Fox signed a deal with Debmar-Mercury to broadcast the show nationally on their stations in July 2009.
Wendy made fans laugh, cry and brace their seats for more drama for 14 years on the nationally syndicated daytime talk show series. In June of this year, the show was forced off the air due to Wendy’s ongoing battle with lymphedema and Graves Disease, but she won’t be off the air for long.