On the main stage at Art Park Thursday afternoon, Vanessa Williams was rehearsing her iconic songs with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra ahead of their joint evening concert.
Standing a few feet away from Williams was Carmen Ruby Floyd, Williams' backup singer, who's last performance at Artpark was when she was a teenager, still living in Buffalo. It was a total homecoming for the Holy Angels graduate, all thanks to a chance encounter with Williams that led to a family-like relationship between the two singers.
"I do a show called After Midnight, and I run into this amazing creature," Williams says with glowing pride during an exclusive interview with 7 Eyewitness News.
"She meets my then-fiance [Jim Skrip] and we find out that both of them are from Buffalo. Jim comes and brings her wings, orange candy--"
"Sponge candy," Floyd interjects.
Clearly, the pair have the kind of relationship that allows for them to step on each others words.
"And she was in love with him, she was like, you need to marry him," Williams said.
In addition to singing backup at Thursday night's Artpark show, Floyd had a solo number as well - a Broadway tune, which showed off her undeniable talent. Floyd says she left Buffalo to chase the Broadway dream when she was around 18 years old.
Floyd sang Ave Maria at Williams' wedding in Buffalo in 2015. Williams married a Buffalo-native, Jim Skrip, whom she met during an overseas vacation in Egypt.
Floyd calls Williams her "Fairy Godmother," and is quick to gush about Williams' talent and generosity.
"She's every woman. She does everything. And that's what I'm trying to do. So the fact that I got to be with her... she's the best. She's a great role model and mentor," Floyd says.