Critics acclaim her as the uncontested star of musicals right now, and we just declared her our Woman of the week. Denée Benton is without a doubt this year’s revelation, and we love the idea of telling you her story, as this is the story of a girl with great willpower and a great dose of determination, two qualities which helped her attain her goals very quickly.

Danton was born in Florida in 1992, and spent most of her life there. Her education, which progressed at the same time as her greatest passion, music, had a large impact on her career. She attended Carnegie Mellon University, and graduated there, with the highest score possible. It was during her stint at this university that she discovered cinema, and developed her passion for musicals. In an interview, she recently declared that the most influential feature she saw, the one that encouraged her to try her hand in the show business, was Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, with the unforgettable Whitney Houston.

She didn’t have to wait for too long for the first roles to come, as we saw in her first musical, The Book of Mormon. 2016 was the true breakthrough year for her as an actress, though: first, she featured in the TV show Unreal, and right after that, she got a part in the musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, adapted from a few chapters of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Without a doubt, this was Benton’s most significant piece of work until now, not just professionally but also from the perspective of her private life. Her role, Natasha’s, was actually originally written for a white actress — the character is Russian — but director Rachel Chavkin, progressive woman and film director, fell utterly in love with Denée’s skills, and decided to pickier because of her talent, overlooking the matter of the character’s original skin color. Benton was nominated for a Tony Award as best actress in a musical for this performance.

Finally, as young successful women often do, Denée is very fascinated by the fashion world. As we can see from her Instagram profile, the 25-year-old absolutely loves being photographed, wearing beautiful clothes, and appearing on the most prestigious red carpets. Hi Denée, welcome to the club of women we love!

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