At the prompting of an Associated Press reporter, she sang the song at her post-victory press conference as audience members snapped their fingers.
The fourth runner up was Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras; third runner up was Miss Florida Taylor Tyson; second runner up was Miss Louisiana Holli' Conway, and the first runner up was Miss Connecticut Bridget Oei. While receiving her crown, she said, "It took a lot of perseverance to get here, and I want to thank my family, my mom and dad, who is a survivor of cancer".
The new Miss America is Nia Franklin. She moved to NY after being accepted at the Kenan Fellow program at Lincoln Center Education in Manhattan.
Following the competition, McPhail added: "I said standing up for what you believe in is the most important thing that you can do, and that's what I did".
And your new Miss America is...
"Dancing with the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba hosted the pageant.
Instead of a swimsuit competition, the competitors had a interactive session with the judges panel, which included Soledad O'Brien, Randy Jackson, Laila Ali, Bobby Bones, Jessie James Decker, Carnie Wilson and Alli Webb.
The Miss America Organization has courted controversy in recent months.
In December, former CEO Sam Haskell resigned after emails in which he insulted the appearance, intellect and personal lives of former pageant winners were leaked. In May, Regina Hopper was named president and CEO.
Organizers have announced sweeping changes for 2019, including the controversial elimination of the swimsuit portion of the event.
Mund's accusations led to numerous state organizations demanding that national chairwoman Gretchen Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper resign. "And to demonstrate how they are uniquely qualified for the exciting, challenging 365-day job of Miss America".
Cara Mund, who was crowned a year ago while competing as Miss North Dakota, accused Miss America leadership of silencing and bullying her after she was crowned. "After a while, the patterns have clearly emerged, and the sheer accumulation of the disrespect, passive-aggressive behavior, belittlement and outright exclusion has taken a serious toll".
With the exception of passing the crown to Franklin, Mund was noticeably absent from most of Sunday's ceremony.