Candiace Dillard Bassett
Candiace Dillard Bassett is a sassy and savvy 35-year-old former Miss United States born in Biloxi, Miss. She grew up in Atlanta with her Air Force physician parents and siblings, Chris and Crystal. At an early age, Candiace learned what excellence looked like from observing her parents, who worked in different facets of the medical field. A graduate of Howard University, she served a tenure in the White House offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, where she liaised between the White House and the African-American community for President Barack Obama. She later traded in her suit and heels for the campaign trail, where she served as a staffer for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
In 2013, Candiace won the crown and title of Miss United States and hasn’t looked back since. She has competed in the pageant industry for many years and holds top placements in the Sunburst, National American Miss, National Miss American Coed, Georgia Miss American Coed, Miss Maryland USA, Miss District of Columbia USA and Miss United States pageant systems.
While she takes pride in her background in public service, Candiace considers herself an artist at heart and is no stranger to performing. She debuted in the award-winning independent film “Water in a Broken Glass” and guest starred alongside Tia Mowry as the spunky Sunita Chanel in the sitcom Family Reunion. Music has always been a second language for Candiace and plays a significant role in her life. Fall 2021 saw Candiace release her debut studio album “Deep Space,” which debuted at #24 in the top 25 current R&B Albums Chart while garnering praise from several industry titans, including Toni Braxton, Anita Baker and Nicki Minaj. The newly selected member of the Recording Academy’s class of 2022 also embarks on a multicity tour this fall.
As an entrepreneur, she is the founder and CEO of Candiace Dillard Pageant Consulting, co-founder of Prima Hair Collection by Candiace Dillard, and co-owner of Chateau Salon Suites. In 2009, she also founded an organization called My Sister’s Keeper, a mentorship and women’s empowerment organization designed to give young girls the opportunity to interact with women in their communities. Candiace is married to her soulmate, restaurateur Chris Bassett, whom she met while they were both working at a restaurant in downtown Washington, D.C. They were friends for several years before the courtship blossomed into undeniable love — Chris proposed to her with a surprise engagement and now the couple is happily married. In addition to running her numerous businesses, Candiace recently received an MBA as a 2022 graduate of Howard University.