Toni-Ann Singh became the fourth Jamaican beauty to be crowned Miss World. Miss France Ophely Mezino stood second and Miss India Suman Rao came third in the annual beauty pageant held in London.
The 69th edition of the contest saw beauties from 120 countries compete for the title. Singh brought home the crown more than two decades after Lisa Hanna had won the title in 1993. Jamaica had previously bagged the title in 1959, 1963 and 1976.
A highly emotional Singh broke down upon hearing her name as the winner. "This feels like a dream. I'm just so grateful. Thank you for whatever it is you see in me. 'I'm ready to work, ready to get to work," she said.
This is also the first time in the history of beauty pageants that Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, Miss America, Miss Universe and, Miss World are women of colour. Earlier this week, Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe.
Immediately after her win, Singh tweeted, "To that little girl in St. Thomas, Jamaica and all the girls around the world - please believe in yourself. Please know that you are worthy and capable of achieving your dreams. This crown is not mine but yours. You have a PURPOSE."
During the pageant, Singh won the hearts of the audience after she sang Whitney Houston's hit number, I Have Nothing. Praising the beauty for her rendition and win, British broadcaster Piers Morgan, who was also the head judge of the event, tweeted, "Beautiful lady with an equally beautiful voice. Congrats @toniannsingh - new Miss World."
Who is Tony-Ann Singh?
Singh, 23, is a graduate in women studies and psychology from Florida State University in the US. The beauty from the island nation wishes to become a medical doctor and during her free time enjoys singing, cooking, vlogging and volunteering. Born in Morant, St Thomas, Jamaica, Singh had taken a year off from school before attending medical school.
Her bio on the Miss World official website mentions her mother as the most important person in her life. The beauty queen who in the past was elected president of the Caribbean Students Association in her University praises her mother for always allowing and supporting her to follow her dreams.
What Tony-Ann Singh said in the Q&A round
During the Q& A round with Morgan, Singh was asked two questions. As to what was special about her to win the title, Singh replied, "I think I represent something special, a generation of women that are pushing forward to change the world. I wouldn't say I'm different from any other women on this stage, but I will say that my passion for women and pouring into them and making sure that they've had the same opportunities that I've had is something that sets me apart."
Answering the second question, Singh told Morgan, "So you asked me a question to make me cry. Well, okay. The most inspiring woman to me is my mother. Now I must say if my mother and my father are the roots and I am the tree, then really any work that I do, anything that I'm able to change in the world, it is the fruits of their labour. I have watched her pour everything into me even at the sacrifice of her own wants and her own needs and that's why I'm able to sit before you today, thank you."