Idris Elba, John Luther, Luther

Robert Viglasky, © BBC

Idris Elba is the "Sexiest Man Alive," according to People.

The 46-year-old Luther actor is the 33rd Hollywood hunk to receive the title—and the first black man to do so in 22 years, after Denzel Washington booked the magazine's 1996 cover. Other stars who made the list in this year's issue (on newsstands Friday) include Chadwick Boseman, Noah Centineo, Bradley Cooper, Henry Golding, Prince Harry, John Krasinski, Shawn Mendes, Hasan Minhaj, Chris Pine and Thomas Rhett. So, what did Elba think when he learned he'd be replacing last year's honoree, Blake Shelton? "I was like, 'Come on, no way. Really?' Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, 'Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.' To be honest, it was just a nice feeling," he says. "It was a nice surprise—an ego boost for sure."

Elba joins an elite list of men who have been recognized in the pages of People.

At 29 years old, Mel Gibson was the first actor to receive the honor in 1985. He was succeeded by Mark Harmon (1986), Harry Hamlin (1987), John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1988), Sean Connery (1989), Tom Cruise (1990), Patrick Swayze (1992) and—although it seems strange now—Nick Nolte (1992). Power couple Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford were named the "Sexiest Couple Alive" in 1993—the only time a woman was honored—before he returned solo in 1999.

As Elba gets used to his new designation, take a look back at previous honorees:

Idris Elba, People, Sexiest Man Alive

David Burton/People

Blake Shelton, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Dwayne Johnson, People, Sexiest Man Alive

People

David Beckham

People Magazine

 Chris Hemsworth, People's Sexiest Man Alive

People.com

Adam Levine, People's Sexiest Man

People

Channing Tatum, People

People Magazine

Bradley Cooper, People Cover

People Magazine

Ryan Reynolds, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Johnny Depp, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Hugh Jackman, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Matt Damon, People

People Magazine

Matthew McConaughey, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Jude Law, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Ben Affleck, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Pierce Brosnan, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Richard Gere, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Harrison Ford, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

George Clooney, People

People Magazine

Denzel Washington, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Brad Pitt, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Richard Gere, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Nick Nolte, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Patrick Swayze, People

People Magazine

Tom Cruise, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Sean Connery, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

John F. Kennedy Jr., People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Harry Hamlin, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Mark Harmon, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

Mel Gibson, People, Sexiest Man Alive

Courtesy of People

People didn't select anyone to cover its 1994 issue; twenty-one years later, the magazine selected Keanu Reeves as its pick, with runners-up including Jim Carrey and Hugh Grant.

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