Amelia Vega in 2010
|Born||Amelia Vega Polanco
(1984-11-07) November 7, 1984
Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic
|Residence||Weston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|Occupation||Singer, actress, model|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Title||Miss Dominican Republic 2002
52nd Miss Universe
|Spouse(s)||Al Horford (m. 2011)|
|Beauty pageant titleholder|
|Miss Dominican Republic 2002
Miss Universe 2003
Amelia Vega Horford (née Amelia Vega y Polanco[a]; Santiago de los Caballeros, 7 November 1984) is a Dominican actress, singer, model, and beauty queen. She became the first Dominican woman to be named Miss Universe, in 2003. At the age of 18, she was the youngest winner since 1994; also, standing at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m), Vega is the tallest Miss Universe winner on record.
Vega’s father, Otto Vega Rasuk, is a general medical practitioner with offices in New York City and Miami. Her mother, Patricia Polanco Álvarez, is a licensed Pilot and was also a previous national titleholder who represented the Dominican Republic in 1980 at the Miss World pageant. Vega is niece-in-law of the Grammy Award–winning singer Juan Luis Guerra and wife of NBA player Al Horford. Additionally, Amelia attended and graduated from Barbizon Modeling and Acting School in Santo Domingo.
After winning the Miss Dominican Republic title, Vega represented the Dominican Republic in the Miss Universe 2003 pageant held in Panama City on June 3, 2003. She became the first delegate from this country to win the title.
Amelia Vega was crowned in Panama. She wore a white evening gown during the competition, which featured strings of beads on the sleeves.
As Miss Universe 2003, Vega traveled extensively working with internationally recognized HIV/AIDS organizations including the Global Health Council, Cable Positive, amfAR, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and God’s Love We Deliver. As a celebrity spokesperson, she was responsible for working with the international media to generate a better understanding and acceptance of AIDS/HIV epidemics and its prevention while helping to increase awareness, funding and resources for these key organizations.
As Miss Universe, Vega represented the Miss Universe Organization. Her “sister” 2003 titleholders were Tami Farrell (Miss Teen USA, of Oregon) and Susie Castillo (Miss USA, of Massachusetts). Vega is the third among Miss Universe winners who also won the National Costume competition. Thailand’s Porntip Nakhirunkanok won the award in 1988 and eventually won the crown then, Wendy Fitzwilliam of Trinidad & Tobago also won the Best National Costume and went on to win the 1998 Miss Universe crown. At the time she was the youngest woman since 1994 to win Miss Universe (until Zuleyka Rivera in 2006).
After moving to an apartment in New York as part of her overall prize package as the new Miss Universe titleholder, Vega visited over 30 countries around the world including: Dominican Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Ecuador, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, and numerous trips around the United States. Vega returned to her home country several times, and was awarded an honorary medal in the 2003 Pan American Games, held in Santo Domingo. Later that year, Vega co-hosted the Festival Presidente de Música Latina.
Vega has appeared on the cover of several magazines, from her country’s local Mujer Unica and Oh! Magazine, up to internationally known Cosmopolitan, Caras, InStyle, Vanidades, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, and Selecta. She also has been the lead image for campaigns made by the beauty cosmetics company Cover Girl, for the past 4 years.
Vega debuted as a singer with her uncle Juan Luis Guerra in Madison Square Garden and American Airline’s Arena. After her reign as Miss Universe came to an end, Vega worked as the host of the reality show Voces de América, that aired on the Telemundo network. She also hosted several editions of “Festival Presidente” where more than 60,000 people attended, Later she hosted “Suegras”, a reality show broadcast in the US and Latin America. Her film debut was in 2005, co-starring in the film The Lost City directed by Andy García. She had a special in Homie Spumoni, a motion picture starring Donald Faison and Whoopi Goldberg, among others and was scheduled and released in summer 2008.
She also performed the video of “Mi corazoncito” of Dominican bachata music group Aventura.
After recording her first demo at 15 years old and starting her artistic career on musicals in her hometown at the same age, Amelia’s first single “Pasa Un Segundito” was released by iTunes on April 26, 2010. It became a top Latin song in just two days. A couple months later she surprises with her environmental song Smog. She announced on her Twitter account that her complete album “Agua Dulce” will be released on August 30, 2011 first on iTunes. She began promoting her music in Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Panama, Dominican Republic “where she opened the concert for Mark Anthony And Chayanne in front of a crowd of 50,000 people”.
Vega is the daughter of Otto Miguel Vega Rasuk, a doctor, and Patricia Victoria Polanco Álvarez, a pilot and beauty pageant titleholder that represented her country in Miss World 1980. Her father was son of the lawyer, professor, and vice-rector of the University of Santo Domingo Miguel Ángel Vega Acevedo, who was brother of writer and college professor Vanessa Vega de Bonnelly. Amelia Vega’s grandfather was son of Miguel Ángel Vega Hernández, and grandson of José Nicolás Vega Pichardo, a Cuban immigrant from Santiago de Cuba that arrived to the Dominican Republic in the 1860s with his parents, José Rafael Vega Bravo and Margarita Crescencia Pichardo Contreras, and his brother José Rafael Vega Pichardo, whose ancestry can be traced back to the English King, William the Conqueror, and the Castilian King Alfonso X.
Vega is the niece of Nora Clementina Altagracia Vega Rasuk, who is the wife of songwriter and singer Juan Luis Guerra, thus, Vega is niece-in-law of Guerra. Vega’s maternal grandmother, who is the cousin of architect Miguel Vila Luna, is of Lebanese descent.
On December 24, 2011, Vega married NBA player Al Horford, after two years of dating. On February 23, 2015, Vega gave birth to their first child, a son named Ean Horford Vega. On June 15 Announced She and Husband Al Horford are expecting a 2nd child together in the fall of 2016. The couple had their second child on November 27, 2016, this time a daughter Alía Horford Vega.
- Homie Spumoni (2006) …. Amelia Vega as (Chanice)
- The Lost City (2005) …. Minerva Eros
She still cooperates with several charity foundations to date, such as, Go Red For Women, Inisiatica Ser (Breast Cancer) Global Health Council, Cable Positive, amfAR, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and God’s Love We Deliver.