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Miss profiles 2020-2022 complete • Teen profiles 2020-2022 and all profiles 2010-2019 coming soon

Miss Tennessee USA and Teen USA Titleholder History

Your ultimate Miss USA state pageant resource

Take a trip back into the history of the Miss Tennessee USA and Teen USA pageants, from the first winner, 1952's Jean Harper to 2023 titleholders Regan Ringler and Blye Allen. Get to know every single Miss and Teen titleholder with a full listing, hometown map and extensive photo archive, with state pageant photos, Miss USA and Teen USA competition photos and more.

Miss USA 2007 Rachel Smith in her Elvis-inspired national costume at Miss Universe
Miss USA 2007 Rachel Smith at Miss Universe

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A guide to the state titleholder listings...

Miss Tennessee USA and Teen USA Titleholder History

Tennessee has competed in every single Miss USA pageant except 1953. From the early 1960s until the end of the 1970s the title was styled “Miss Tennessee Universe”, a common practice at the time.  In the early years there was a strong connection to Memphis, with the majority titleholders coming from the city and its suburbs.  In recent years there has been a power shift to the Nashville area – Miss Tennessee USA 1992 Natalie Bray is the most recent Miss titleholder from Memphis.  There were no Miss Tennessee Teen USA titleholders from Memphis from 1991 until Ansley Ecker in 2020, and there have now been three in a row from the Memphis suburbs!

1960s-1970s

Check out the news clippings in the photo gallery section for a gorgeous photo of Pat Kerr Tigrett Miss Tennessee Universe 1964 and her 8 year old sister Jana Kerr who competed in and won the “Little Miss USA” pageant held alongside Miss USA that year. What makes this extra special? Jana herself won the Miss Tennessee Universe 1976 title and competed at Miss USA 1976! Pat became the franchisee for Tennessee in 1965 and was associated with the Miss USA pageant for 12 years.

1980s

The 1980s started with Diane Hunt, a distant cousin of Dolly Parton, and a pile of pancakes – check out the news clippings below! Miss Tennessee USA 1981 was Sharon Steakley, whose daughter Alexandra Harper would go on to win the Miss Tennessee USA title herself in 2018. Miss Tennessee USA 1985 Marty Browning won the Miss Congeniality award. Marty was born deaf and while able to lip read and communicate without sign language, took the opportunity to teach it to the other contestants. She earned a degree in deaf education from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and taught hearing-impaired preschoolers in Chattanooga. Miss Tennessee USA 1989 Kimberly Payne is better known as Kimberly Greenwood, director of the Miss Tennessee USA pageants (as well as more recently, Georgia and Mississippi) for the last 30 years.

1990s

In 1990 Charita Moses became the first-ever African American Miss Tennessee USA, followed back-to-back by Angela Johnson in 1991. In 1995 Lynnette Cole won Miss Tennessee Teen USA and made the top 5 at Miss Teen USA; she’d become better known five years later as Miss USA 2000. The 1990s was a very successful period for Tennessee in both divisions with consecutive 2nd runner-up placements at Miss USA 1996 and 1997 and Morgan Tandy High placing first runner-up in 1999. Allison Alderson and Lynette were finalists at Miss Teen USA 1994 and 1995. Shelly Moore won Tennessee’s first Miss Teen USA title in 1997, followed by Bridgett Jordan finishing first runner-up to Vanessa Minnillo at Miss Teen USA 1998.  Miss Tennessee USA 1993 Cammy Gregory sadly passed away from a brain aneurysm in 2005, aged 35.

2000s

In 2000 Lynnette followed up her Teen success by becoming the first Tennessean to win Miss USA, and another former TN Teen USA Rachel Smith became the second in 2007. Tennessee was represented by three consecutive former Miss Tennessee’s from 2002-2004 with Beth Hood and Stephanie Culberson both placing fourth runner-up. Their Teen sister titleholders Alicia Selby (2003) and Tiffany Stroud (2004) also made the top five at Miss Teen USA.

Unsurprisingly for Tennessee there are musical connections with many former titleholders:

  • Miss Tennessee USA 1972 Linda Thompson was the last girlfriend of Elvis Presley
  • Miss Tennessee USA 1980 Diane Hunt is distant cousin of Dolly Parton
  • Miss Tennessee USA 1989 Kimberly Greenwood (1989) is the wife of Lee Greenwood
  • Miss Tennessee Teen USA 1993 Jamie Dudney is the daughter of country music singer Barbara Mandrell
  • Miss Tennessee Teen USA 1994 & Miss Tennessee USA 2002 Allison Alderson married Jay DeMarcus.
  • Miss Tennessee USA 1998 Amy Neely married The Derailers bassist Ed Adkins

 

I’m sure I’m missing more!

Miss USA and Miss Teen USA titleholders from Tennessee

MISS USA 2000

Lynnette Cole

21 • Columbia

Top 5
at Miss Universe

MISS USA 2007

Rachel Smith

21 • Clarksville

4th runner-up
at Miss Universe

MISS TEEN USA 1997

Shelly Moore

18 • Knoxville

 

MISS TEEN USA 2009

Stormi Henley

18 • Crossville

 

Miss Tennessee USA titleholders 1952-2022

Recent titleholders

2020
Tennessee USA icon 2020
Justice Enlow

26 • Nashville

 
 

2021
Tennessee USA icon 2021
Elizabeth Graham Pistole

21 • Nashville

Top 16 at
Miss USA

2022
Tennessee USA icon 2022
Emily Suttle

26 • Franklin

Top 12 at
Miss USA

2023
Tennessee USA icon 2023
Regan Ringler

26 • Nashville

Semi-finalist
at Miss USA

2024
Tennessee USA icon 2024
Christell Foote

23 • Murfreesboro

 
 

Placements and Awards Summary

Placements

Winner

Lynette Cole (2000), Rachel Smith (2007)

1st runner-up

Morgan Tandy High (1999), Ashley Durham (2011)

2nd runner-up

Gail White (1962), Desiree Daniels (1984), Becca Lee (1996), Towanna Stone (1997)

3rd runner-up

Jean Harper (1952), Donna Marie Ford (1970)

4th runner-up

Beth Hood (2003), Stephanie Culberson (2004)

Semi-finalist

Stella Wilson (1956), Martha “Marty” Boales (1958), Bobbie Lynn Morrow (1963), Mary Margaret Smith (1966), Nancy Brackhahn (1967), Sandra Force (1968), Sharon Kay Steakly (1981), Sheryl Deanise “Nise” Levy (1982), Stephanie Jane Potts (1988), Charita Moses (1990), Cammy Gregory (1993), Leah Hulan (1994), Lisa Tollett (2001), Allee-Sutton Hethcoat (2017), Regan Ringler (2023)

Top 8/10/11/12*

Hailey Brown (2008), Kristen Motil (2009), Tucker Perry (2010), Alexandra Harper (2018), Emily Suttle (2022)

Top 15/16/20*

Lauren Grissom (2006), Jessica Hibler (2012), Kristy Landers Niedenfuer (2014), Elizabeth Pistole Graham (2021)

* Where the semi-finalists are cut in multiple stages before the top 5 or 6

Awards

Congeniality

Bonnie Perkins (1965), Martha “Marty” Browning (1985)

Photogenic

Suzanna Timberlake (1978)

State Costume

Pat Kerr (1964), Elizabeth Pistole Graham (2021)

Full Titleholder Listing

IMAGEYEARNAMEHOMETOWNAGEPLACEMENTAWARDNOTES
2024Christell FooteMurfreesboro24
2023Regan RinglerNashville26
2022Emily Suttle*Franklin26Top 12Previously Miss TN Teen USA 2013 (SF Miss Teen USA)
2021Elizabeth Pistole GrahamFranklin21Top 16
2020Justice EnlowNashville26
2019Savana HodgeNashville25
2018Alexandra HarperNashville25Top 10Daughter of Miss TN USA 1981 Sharon Steakley
2017Allee-Sutton HethcoatFranklin25Semi-finalist
2016Hope StephensLivingston20
2015Kiara YoungNashville25
2014Kristy Landers Niedenfuer*Nashville22Top 20
2013Brenna Mader*Nashville26Previously Miss WY Teen USA 2005
2012Jessica HiblerNashville23Top 16
2011Ashley Durham*Adamsville201st runner-upPreviously Miss TN Teen USA 2006
2010Tucker PerryFranklin20Top 10
2009Kristen MotilFranklin24Top 10
2008Hailey BrownFranklin25Top 10
2007RACHEL SMITH*Clarksville21MISS USAPreviously Miss TN Teen USA 2002 (SF Miss Teen USA); 4RU Miss Universe
2006Lauren GrissomShelbyville21Top 15
2005Amy ColleyJonesborough21
2004Stephanie Culberson^Knoxville244th runner-upPreviously Miss TN 2001 (2RU Miss America)
2003Beth Hood^Cleveland244th runner-upPreviously Miss TN 2000
2002Allison Alderson*^Nashville25Previously Miss TN Teen USA 1994 (F Miss Teen USA) & Miss TN 1999
2001Lisa TollettCrossville24Semi-finalist
2000LYNETTE COLE*Columbia21MISS USAPreviously Miss TN Teen USA 1995 (F Miss Teen USA); F Miss Universe
1999Morgan Tandy HighGrove251st runner-up
1998Amy NeelyLafayette
1997Towanna StoneMorristown242nd runner-up
1996Becca LeeNashville242nd runner-up
1995Lee Ann HueyObion25
1994Leah HulanMurfreesboroSemi-finalistPreviously Miss TN 1992
1993Cammy GregoryParis22Semi-finalist
1992Natalie BrayMemphis26
1991Angela JohnsonMemphis22
1990Charita MosesKnoxville20Semi-finalist
1989Kimberly PayneNashville21Miss Tennessee USA (& Georgia & Mississippi) franchise director from 1993-now
1988Stephanie Jane PottsMemphis23Semi-finalist
1987Molly Brown*Leoma19Previously Miss TN Teen USA 1984 (2RU Miss Teen USA)
1986Karen ComptonLawrenceburg
1985Martha "Marty" BrowningChattanooga24Congeniality
1984Desiree DanielsChattanooga242nd runner-upPreviously Miss TN 1982 (1RU Miss America)
1983Ladonna FridayGray20
1982Sheryl Deanise "Nise" LevyNashville21Semi-finalist
1981Sharon Kay SteaklyWinchester24Semi-finalistMother of Miss TN USA 2018 Alexandra Harper
1980Diane HuntChattanooga
1979Sandy NuismerNashville
1978Suzanna TimberlakeChattanoogaPhotogenic
1977Rene Jean SmithCookeville
1976Jana KerrSavannah20Sister of Miss TN USA 1964 Pat Kerr
1975Shelly SmithMemphis
1974Brin HendrixCounce18
1973Tommye HookerMemphis18
1972Linda ThompsonMemphis
1971Sue CollinsNashville
1970Donna Marie FordTrenton3rd runner-up
1969Suzie RichardsonJackson
1968Sandra ForceMemphis23Semi-finalist
1967Nancy BrackhahnMemphisSemi-finalist
1966Mary Margaret SmithMemphis20Semi-finalist
1965Bonnie PerkinsMemphis19Congeniality
1964Pat KerrSavannah23State CostumeMiss Tennessee Universe franchise director from 1965-1977
1963Bobbie Lynn MorrowSavannah20Semi-finalist
1962Gail WhiteChattanooga2nd runner-up
1961Anita AtkinsMemphis
1960Christine McSwainJefferson City
1959Marcia DanielMemphis19
1958Martha "Marty" BoalesMemphis19Semi-finalist
1957Patricia PratherAlamo18
1956Stella WilsonCovington19Semi-finalist
1955Barbara GurleyWhitehaven
1954Barbara HollyElizabethton
1953
1952Jean Harper^Memphis223rd runner-upPreviously Miss TN 1951
YEARNAMEHOMETOWNAGEPLACEMENTAWARDNOTES
2024Christell FooteMurfreesboro24
2023Regan RinglerNashville26
2022Emily Suttle*Franklin26Top 12Previously Miss TN Teen USA 2013 (SF Miss Teen USA)
2021Elizabeth Pistole GrahamFranklin21Top 16
2020Justice EnlowNashville26
2019Savana HodgeNashville25
2018Alexandra HarperNashville25Top 10Daughter of Miss TN USA 1981 Sharon Steakley
2017Allee-Sutton HethcoatFranklin25Semi-finalist
2016Hope StephensLivingston20
2015Kiara YoungNashville25
2014Kristy Landers Niedenfuer*Nashville22Top 20
2013Brenna Mader*Nashville26Previously Miss WY Teen USA 2005
2012Jessica HiblerNashville23Top 16
2011Ashley Durham*Adamsville201st runner-upPreviously Miss TN Teen USA 2006
2010Tucker PerryFranklin20Top 10
2009Kristen MotilFranklin24Top 10
2008Hailey BrownFranklin25Top 10
2007RACHEL SMITH*Clarksville21MISS USAPreviously Miss TN Teen USA 2002 (SF Miss Teen USA); 4RU Miss Universe
2006Lauren GrissomShelbyville21Top 15
2005Amy ColleyJonesborough21
2004Stephanie Culberson^Knoxville244th runner-upPreviously Miss TN 2001 (2RU Miss America)
2003Beth Hood^Cleveland244th runner-upPreviously Miss TN 2000
2002Allison Alderson*^Nashville25Previously Miss TN Teen USA 1994 (F Miss Teen USA) & Miss TN 1999
2001Lisa TollettCrossville24Semi-finalist
2000LYNETTE COLE*Columbia21MISS USAPreviously Miss TN Teen USA 1995 (F Miss Teen USA); F Miss Universe
1999Morgan Tandy HighGrove251st runner-up
1998Amy NeelyLafayette
1997Towanna StoneMorristown242nd runner-up
1996Becca LeeNashville242nd runner-up
1995Lee Ann HueyObion25
1994Leah HulanMurfreesboroSemi-finalistPreviously Miss TN 1992
1993Cammy GregoryParis22Semi-finalist
1992Natalie BrayMemphis26
1991Angela JohnsonMemphis22
1990Charita MosesKnoxville20Semi-finalist
1989Kimberly PayneNashville21Miss Tennessee USA (& Georgia & Mississippi) franchise director from 1993-now
1988Stephanie Jane PottsMemphis23Semi-finalist
1987Molly Brown*Leoma19Previously Miss TN Teen USA 1984 (2RU Miss Teen USA)
1986Karen ComptonLawrenceburg
1985Martha "Marty" BrowningChattanooga24Congeniality
1984Desiree DanielsChattanooga242nd runner-upPreviously Miss TN 1982 (1RU Miss America)
1983Ladonna FridayGray20
1982Sheryl Deanise "Nise" LevyNashville21Semi-finalist
1981Sharon Kay SteaklyWinchester24Semi-finalistMother of Miss TN USA 2018 Alexandra Harper
1980Diane HuntChattanooga
1979Sandy NuismerNashville
1978Suzanna TimberlakeChattanoogaPhotogenic
1977Rene Jean SmithCookeville
1976Jana KerrSavannah20Sister of Miss TN USA 1964 Pat Kerr
1975Shelly SmithMemphis
1974Brin HendrixCounce18
1973Tommye HookerMemphis18
1972Linda ThompsonMemphis
1971Sue CollinsNashville
1970Donna Marie FordTrenton3rd runner-up
1969Suzie RichardsonJackson
1968Sandra ForceMemphis23Semi-finalist
1967Nancy BrackhahnMemphisSemi-finalist
1966Mary Margaret SmithMemphis20Semi-finalist
1965Bonnie PerkinsMemphis19Congeniality
1964Pat KerrSavannah23State CostumeMiss Tennessee Universe franchise director from 1965-1977
1963Bobbie Lynn MorrowSavannah20Semi-finalist
1962Gail WhiteChattanooga2nd runner-up
1961Anita AtkinsMemphis
1960Christine McSwainJefferson City
1959Marcia DanielMemphis19
1958Martha "Marty" BoalesMemphis19Semi-finalist
1957Patricia PratherAlamo18
1956Stella WilsonCovington19Semi-finalist
1955Barbara GurleyWhitehaven
1954Barbara HollyElizabethton
1953
1952Jean Harper^Memphis223rd runner-upPreviously Miss TN 1951

State and Miss USA Photo Album