Idris Elba Is People's Sexiest Man Alive 2018—and It's About Time!

Blake Shelton, who? Jimmy Fallon announced the singer's replacement on The Tonight Show

By Zach Johnson Nov 06, 2018 4:55 AMTags
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Sorry, Gwen Stefani: Blake Shelton is no longer People's "Sexiest Man Alive."

"I feel like sexy ends when I'm not 'Sexiest Man Alive' anymore," Shelton joked with Ellen DeGeneres on her show earlier today. "I don't feel like it exists anymore. I feel like it's over."

As the country music superstar's reign came to an end, Jimmy Fallon revealed on NBC's The Tonight Show Monday that Idris Elba is being honored in 2018. Elba appeared on the late-night show via Skype from London, where he smiled nonstop and joked about being the 33rd person in Hollywood to receive the title, after the weekly magazine first recognized Mel Gibson 1985.

Fans had lobbied for Elba to receive the title for years, and their campaigning finally paid off!

Previous "Sexiest Man Alive" honorees include Dwayne Johnson (2016), David Beckham (2015), Chris Hemsworth (2014), Adam Levine (2013), Channing Tatum (2012), Bradley Cooper (2011), Ryan Reynolds (2010), Johnny Depp (2009) and Hugh Jackman (2008), among other Hollywood hunks. Queer Eye's Fab 5—Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness—are also featured in this year's issue, out Friday.

Louis Maldonado, meanwhile, was recently named People's "Sexiest Chef Alive."

So, what does Elba make of being this year's dream dude?

"My mum is going to be very proud," the Luther star said.

When Fallon asked for "a little smolder," Elba obliged and looked pensively into the distance. He also shared a "shy smile" and flexed his muscles while thanking People for the "amazing" honor.

Elba was in disbelief when he learned he would be featured this year. "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,'" he joked in the Nov. 19 issue. "But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise—an ego boost for sure." As a kid, the 6-foot-3 actor said he was "very tall and skinny," meaning the ladies weren't exactly lining up to date him. "And my name was Idrissa Akuna Elba, OK? I got picked on a little bit," the Thor: Ragnarok star says. "But as soon as I could grow a mustache, I was the coolest kid on the block. Grew a mustache, had some muscles, bonkers."

Each one of People's "Sexiest Man Alive" honorees brought something different to the table, but in general, they all had the same effect on women. "People really think of 'sexy' beyond physical appearance—although that certainly helps," editorial director Jess Cagle told NBC 4 New York three years ago. "They like the idea of a guy who would be a good husband and father. We always feel out the readers to see what they want, and then we just argue about it!"

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