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People just announced 2020’s “Sexiest Man Alive” is Michael Jordan. Who made it onto the sexy hall of fame before him?

People’s Sexiest Man Alive: Taking a look at the list of past winners

People magazine has presented their signature “Sexiest Man Alive” pick to the public for many years, showcasing all the famous & desirable men in Hollywood. People just announced 2020’s “Sexiest Man Alive”: Michael B. Jordan. According to the publication, Jordan’s smile, arms, and activism made him the perfect winner – but who made it onto the long list of winners before him? 

Starting in 1985, Mel Gibson was the first man to receive the “Sexiest Man Alive” title. Back in the 1980s, all it took for Mel Gibson to earn the sexy accolade was his role in the insane “post-apocalyptic” world of the Mad Max films and his total eye-candy status. 

Five years later, Mission Impossible & Top Gun star Tom Cruise fit the cover for 1990’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue. Cruise’s Rain Man costar Valeria Golino said his “biggest asset was his eyes.”

In the late 1980s & 1990s, Dirty Dancing actor Patrick Swayze starred as every major heartthrob, prompting People to grant Patrick Swayze “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1991. At the time Demi Moore, his Ghost costar, admirably said Swayze may be kind but has “a very rugged, animalistic physique.” 

Sexist “couple” alive? Richard Gere & Cindy Crawford received People’s sexy title as a duo in 1993. Though the now-divorced couple shared the spotlight that year, Gere & Crawford “split one year later” according to Insider. In 1994 People magazine didn’t publish a title, but Gere took the “Sexiest Man Alive” title solo in 1999. 

People’s 1997 issue made doctors & nurses everywhere swoon, crowning ER star George Clooney “Sexiest Man Alive.” According to Insider, Clooney was recognized because of his iconic role as Dr. Doug Ross on the medical series ER. Clooney received this award again in 2006 and quickly told People, “I don’t go on that many dates”. 

The year 2000 introduced Brad Pitt to the “Sexist Man Alive” scene. If you’ve ever fantasized about Brad Pitt riding wild horses, know that’s definitely a reality in his film Legends of the Fall. This 1994 romance made him become quite the “woman’s man”. Pitt starred in multiple other notable 1990s films like Interview with the Vampire. His long locks as a vampire could’ve made him stand out, but who really knows? 

People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” title was given twice to the Pirates of Carribean star, Johnny Depp. Receiving the award in 2003 & 2009, Depp told the magazine, “Life’s pretty good, and why wouldn’t it be?”

In 2001, the Mamma Mia star Pierce Brosnan received the title, undoubtedly due to his role as James Bond back in the early 2000s. However, People claimed the Irishman never seeked the title because he always had “family on his mind”.

Ben Affleck was all Hollywood could talk about in 2002, especially during his hot bubbling romance with Jennifer Lopez. Affleck’s friend Kevin Smith congratulated Affleck and told People, “The word on the street is that he’s the ideal man, chatty, gorgeous, generous, & intelligent.”

The famous British actor, Jude Law received the “Sexiest Man Alive” title in 2004. He was selected over other contested celebrities such as Usher & Matthew Fox. Naomi Watts agreed with People stating, “He’s the most beautiful man who ever walked the earth.”

In the words of Matthew McConaughey, “Alright, alright, alright!” McConaughey received the title in 2005, and People confirmed McConaughey accepted the win, but joked around when acknowledging his sexy success. In his Texan accent he said, “You’re going to see my gut hanging over, plus twenty-two (Ibs). It will be a whole new kind of sexy!”

Matt Damon, known for his role in the Bourne franchise, became 2007’s “Sexiest Man Alive”. Damon responded, saying, “You’ve given an aging suburban dad the ego-boost of a lifetime.” 

The claws were all out in 2008s People magazine cover as Hugh Jackman became a huge Marvel star, known for his role as the Wolverine in X-Men. Hugh’s wife applauded the magazine, saying her husband’s body is “the Body of Doom – but [she] like[s] what’s inside.”

Another Marvel star took the title as “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2010, Ryan Reynolds becoming the first Canadian to be crowned. With a big sense of humor, the actor said the award “gives my family entree into teasing me for the rest of my life.”

With dazzling blue-eyes, The Hangover actor Bradley Cooper couldn’t believe he won the 2011 title because he was no “model”. As humble as Cooper was, he told People, “I think I’m a decent looking guy. Sometimes I can look great and other times I look horrifying.”

22 Jump Street star Channing Tatum hit People’s cover in 2012 by making his sexiness loud & proud. Tatum’s sexiness came through with his roles in Magic Mike & The Vow. Tatum took a while before he was convinced that the title was really his. He told People after their call, “My first thought was, Y’all are messing with me.”

Maroon 5 star Adam Levine received the 2013 title and expressed his shock to People saying, “It’s going to hit me when I’m constantly the butt of every joke.”

The most famous of the Hemsworth brothers, Chris Hemsworth received the 2014 “Sexiest Man Alive” title. According to People, it was all about the “Aussie accent”.

Soccer player David Beckham told People, “I never feel that I’m an attractive sexy person.” Regardless, Becham received the 2015 “Sexiest Man Alive” title, saying that he may be retired but he just hopes his wife Victoria agrees with his new status. 

Wrestler, actor, and father, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson accepted the 2016 “Sexiest Man Alive” title. Johnson felt he reached a new level of stardom as he spoke to People: “Wow, we’ve pretty much reached the pinnacle. I’m not quite too sure where we go from here.”

The 2017 “Sexiest Man Alive” award was given to The Voice coach and country singer, Blake Shelton. When acknowledging his title, he said his girlfriend (now fiance) Gwen Stafani convinced him to take the new status. Stefani told Shelton to “just live in the moment.”

In 2018, Idris Elba accepted People’s hot bod award. As the “Sexiest Man Alive” he looked at himself differently. In an interview with People, Idris stated when he would look in the mirror, he would “check” himself out and say “Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.”

The final gentleman to have received the title before Michael B. Jordan (2020) was singer, husband, and father, John Legend. The cover of the magazine described John perfectly with their caption: “How a good guy got it all.”

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