And it turned out, the crap started at home.
His Victoria's Secret model fiancée, Behati Prinsloo, apparently thought she was being pranked when Levine called to tell her the news.
"Well he called me before, obviously, it came out, and he was like—you know Adam," Prinsloo recalled Monday on Late Night With Seth Meyers, the host of which counts Levine as a pal. "He was like, ‘Babe, guess what,'" she flipped her hair and feigned a surfer dude's voice. "'No, no big deal, I got People's Sexiest Man Alive.'"
"That's a great impression," Meyers offered.
"And I was like, 'What?! You did?" Prinsloo said, dissolving into giggles.
She added: "It was pretty funny. I mean, yeah. 'Cause if you know him, I was like, 'I think People made a mistake."
But before anyone gets too offended, the 24-year-old Namibian-born beauty was obviously kidding. Or so she insisted, several times.
Levine, who just began his sixth season as a coach on The Voice, is about four months into his People-designated reign, but probably only Prinsloo would know if the honor has gone to his pretty little head. Back in November, he told E! News that he found it both "flattering and hilarious."
Prinsloo was on Late Night with fellow Victoria's Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio, promoting the lingerie behemoth's 2014 swimwear collection.
Asked about any particularly extreme photo shoot she's been on, Prinsloo recalled what recently went down in South Africa while doing the VS campaign.
"I was shooting with all kinds of animals and there were elephants…and I'm pretty used to that kind of thing," she explained. "And then one of the shots, I was in a bikini, and there was a cheetah next to me, and it's a full-grown cheetah and I have this bangle on, and I'm lying there and they're like, ‘Look relaxed, you're not next to a cheetah.'
"And it started chewing on my bangle and the guy's like, ‘Whatever you do, don't look the cheetah in the eye. Don't look it in the eye!'
"So every time I looked down, the cheetah's like this," she described, bugging her eyes in an intense gaze. "Staring at me, and I'm like, ‘Guys I think this is not cool, I should get out of here.'"
Hey, you can't blame a big cat for staring.