Over the years, the essence of this honor has changed. Today, it's not just about being physically attractive but also being inspirational.
Every year since 1985, PEOPLE magazine has picked one star amongst many as the sexiest man alive. Needless to mention, it is a much-coveted title and a rare feather that graces the hat of an actor/artist, who has proved himself to be an outstanding candidate.
Mel Gibson was the magazine's first "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1985. In the following years, some of the most popular celebrities in the world have graced the magazine's special cover, including George Clooney (twice!), Tom Cruise , Adam Levine, Idris Elba, Brad Pitt (twice!) and the list goes on.
"People is really trying to inspire people to make a difference in the world and do good through our content," Editor-in-Chief Dan Wakeford explained CNN. The "Sexiest Man" is a person of character, Wakeford said, but they also consider someone "Who is hot, who is doing really well, and who actually is sexy."
"There are so many different variables and ways of approaching it," Wakeford said. "A starting point often is, when we want to make a decision, is to think about the zeitgeist, think about what is sexy at the moment. What do people find appealing at the moment?" Next is looking at what concepts will make sense visually.
"Do we find them sexy?" Wakeford explained.
They also conduct polls through their publication and filter the data. "We did look at data," Wakeford said. "We have more than 90 million consumers a month stepping into the People brand, so we've got a lot of data at our fingertips."
"We're considering everyone to begin with," Wakeford said. "We send calls out to consumers and focus groups, working out who people find sexy. There's a lot of people on that initial research."
Let's get right into the list and introduce you to all the "sexiest men alive" from 1990—2019, according to PEOPLE magazine.
People Magazine Cover, August 26, 1991: Patrick Swayze, The Sexiest Man Alive pic.twitter.com/htjAYEEHUz— RetroNewsNow (@RetroNewsNow) August 26, 2018
Reminder that the voice behind the gentleman on the right WAS People's Sexiest Man Alive in 1992. pic.twitter.com/25qZ9QSlFd— Christian Blauvelt (@ctblauvelt) November 13, 2019
1994: The only year when the title was not awarded to anyone.
In 1995, People’s Sexiest Man Alive had a goatee. https://t.co/sk4puTMEow— Paul Bogosian (@Paulbogo) January 30, 2019
People Magazine Cover 20 Years Ago, July 29, 1996: Denzel Washington, The Sexiest Man Alive! pic.twitter.com/hNEl8WNMnX— RetroNewsNow (@RetroNewsNow) July 29, 2016
New black and white photo of Hugh Jackman from the 2008 Sexiest Man Alive Shoot. Photo by Stewart Shining. pic.twitter.com/hiawDdDanl— HughJackman Fan Site (@HughJackmanFS) December 18, 2013
People's Sexiest Man Alive 2009 still the best, Johnny Depp!!! pic.twitter.com/7I3WTgKx9l— p.r.o. (@Titudt) November 20, 2013
👀🔥😍 @BlakeShelton is this year's #SexiestManAlive! And most importantly, he 'can't wait' to stick it to his fellow #TheVoice judge (and former SMA) @AdamLevine. 😂 https://t.co/LtQ2q8QSkU pic.twitter.com/g7IilIXzxA— People (@people) November 15, 2017
Singer John Legend is People’s Sexiest Man Alive 2019! This choice has received mixed reviews online.— The Talk (@TheTalkCBS) November 13, 2019
🗣Do you think John Legend is a good choice for the Sexiest Man Alive? pic.twitter.com/aVAspZUHY9