Banks | 18th January 2022 | Virtual Wire
Tyra Banks was born on December 4th 1973, in Inglewood, California. She started modelling at the age of 15.
She is most known for being the 1st Black woman on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover in 1997. She has done runway shows for major fashion brands such as Chanel, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior & countless others. She also appeared in music videos from Michael Jackson’s Black & White & most recently Drake’s Child’s Play & movies such as Higher Learning, Coyote Ugly, Love & Basketball, Life-Size 1 & 2 & Hannah Montana: The Movie. Yet, even though this would already be considered an ICONIC resume, it’s just the tip of the iceberg to display how BANKABLE & VALUABLE Tyra Banks truly is.
Tyra’s Takeover is Televised
In 1993, Tyra Banks made her acting debut alongside Will Smith in the iconic sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as Jackie Ames. A childhood friend from Philadelphia turned on & off girlfriend to Will Smith’s character. She was so convincing that you would’ve guessed that either she was a solid veteran actress or she has known Will for a very long time, because they had great on-screen chemistry, as if they were a real-life married couple. In fact, the best actresses to play opposite Will Smith on the show were Banks & then rising star actress Nia Long. (who played Will’s fiancé, Lisa Wilkes) Next, Tyra would go on to create, host & serve as executive producer of the competition show America’s Next Top Model.
It would be the first show under Tyra’s production company, Bankable Productions. Although the show has garnered mixed reactions over the years, there was a point where Tyra stepped down as the host & face of the show & was replaced by singer Rita Ora. Something seemed off but then Tyra returned to her show & sent it off in style. The show lasted from 2003-2018.
In 2005, Tyra would take a huge risk & tackle the world of Daytime Television with her own talk show. The show was originally picked up by Fox Television & some of the executives at the network thought the show wasn’t going to last beyond 2 weeks, seeing as how maybe Tyra was new to this style of Daytime TV, saying that she was “No Oprah Winfrey” & seeing as how people such as Magic Johnson & Keenan Ivory Wayans didn’t translate over to the talk show format very well. However, Tyra would not only prove critics wrong, but she would go on to accomplish what was deemed THEE IMPOSSIBLE.
She would go on to win 2 Daytime Emmys in an Oprah Winfrey DOMINATED World of Daytime TV in the mid-to-late 2000s & she can also be credited for bringing the youth demographic to Daytime. Her show aired at 5 p.m. Eastern standard time, which was the sweet spot for her younger audience. It was an hour after ABC’s Oprah & an hour before BET’s 106 & Park. Her show would come to an end & the FOX network would move on to radio shock jock turned TV personality, Wendy Williams, to do mornings & rerun her show in the afternoon. However, the FOX network has not been able to have Wendy, The Real, Jerry O’Connell or Nick Cannon to currently duplicate what Tyra had accomplished in such a short period of time.
Before she took her talents to Daytime TV, Tyra was a Victoria Secret Angel Model from 1996 to 2005. She was alongside other supermodels such as Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima & Giselle Bundchen. They were The Justice League of Modeling. However, Tyra would retire from the Victoria Secret roster & eventually the industry of modelling entirely after her show became a success, Victoria Secret has had a hard time finding a household name to replace Tyra. Although you can credit the rise of Pop Music Superstar turned Mogul, Rihanna’s SavageXFenty lingerie line as direct competition to Victoria Secret, causing them to have a decline in sales & stock, you can also credit Tyra’s retirement as the 1st domino to fall for the company in 2005 before Rihanna was even a fully established recording artist.
All in all, even beyond her modelling career, Tyra Banks has left a long-lasting impact in media over the years. She went on to host shows like The FabLife, America’s Got Talent & most recently, Dancing with the Stars & has been polarizing in each role, further proving that Tyra is not only BANKABLE, but she is also IRREPLACEABLE!!! Tyra has also proven that her WORK ETHIC & PERSONALITY is more POLARIZING than her BEAUTY!!! On & Off The Runway, Tyra BANKED on Herself & Hit The Jackpot, Time & Time Again! Salute to you, Tyra!