The annual Miss USA competition was held Monday (November 9) after major delays caused by the global health pandemic.
The competition aired live from the Elvis Presley Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee.
Twenty-two-year-old Asya Branch, representing the state of Mississippi, was crowned the winner at the ceremony.
She beat out second runner-up Miss Oklahoma USA Mariah Jane Davis and first runner-up Miss Idaho USA, Kim Layne.
Branch was crowned by another Black woman, Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst.
A native of Booneville, Mississippi, Branch first made history as the first Black person to earn the Miss Mississippi USA crown.
This win is also the first time Mississippi got the prized Miss USA title.
Branch told the Mississippi’s Daily Journal, “It’s been 10 years since Mississippi made it to the top 15 at Miss USA. I’m hoping to revise that cycle and bring the crown back home to Mississippi.”
She tweeted her excitement over the win and adjusting to the new title.
Her history-making win has received great praise, and shocked some after found out about her participation in a roundtable with the president and her October 2018 performance of the National Anthem at a rally for Donald Trump in Southaven, Mississippi.
Branch, a senior at the University of Mississippi, reportedly deleted an Instagram post about the performance, which she had previously captioned, “Incredible honor to sing the national anthem tonight in Southhaven for the President Trump rally.”
She made known her support of gun education during her last statement of the competition, stating, “I believe that we should require people to pass training and safety courses before they are allowed to purchase a gun and before receiving a permit.”
When asked what could bring the country back together, she said "We've lost trust in the systems that seem to keep our country running–– from the media to business to our government," she added, "It's all about restoring that trust and coming together and working together to heal and trust in the systems."
Branch's win means she will go on to represent the US in the Miss Universe competition.
Photo: Getty Images