A 22-year-old business student and model from Barranquilla, Colombia, was named Miss Universe on Sunday at the annual beauty pageant, beating out 87 other contestants from around the globe.
Vega, wearing a long silver sequined gown, was beaming and tearful as she accepted her sash and crown from reigning Miss Universe, Venezuelan Gabriela Isler.
Paulina Vega, the granddaughter of tenor Gaston Vega, studies business administration at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogota and has been a model since she was eight years old, according to the pageant's website.
Vega triumphed over first runner-up, Miss USA Nia Sanchez, a 4th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do from Las Vegas, Nevada, who won the U.S. title in June.
Contestants from the Netherlands, Jamaica and Ukraine rounded out the five finalists at the 63rd annual pageant, which was broadcast on NBC from Florida International University in Miami.
Vega is the fourth woman from South America to win the pageant in the past seven years, with contestants from Venezuela taking the title last year as well as in 2007 and 2008.