He has graced a number of magazine covers throughout his successful film career, he has an impeccable sartorial taste and he supports various social causes. Now, Michael B. Jordan is hailed as 2020’s “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine for its annual feature’s 35th anniversary.
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The Fruitvale Station, Creed and Black Panther star is the third black personality in a row to be given that title following English actor Idris Elba in 2018, and in 2019 singer and songwriter John Legend, who congratulated Jordan on this year’s title.
“Congratulations to my brother Michael B!” Legend tweeted. “And thank you! I can now keep gaining this quarantine weight in peace without the pressure of a title to maintain,” he quipped.
There have only been five non-white personalities who have received the title since the annual feature’s inception in 1985, including Denzel Washington, who is the first person of color to receive the title in 1996; and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in 2016.
It was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night (Pacific time) where Jordan was revealed as this year’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” He appeared in a yellow hazmat suit and his voice was altered as home viewers asked questions before he revealed his identity. “I could tell even through the hazmat suit you are smolderingly handsome,” said late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel.
The 33-year-old actor shared in his interview with the magazine that the women in his family are the most excited for his new title and they are proud of him. “When my grandmother was alive, it was something that she collected, and then my mom naturally reads it a lot and my aunts as well. This is one that they’re definitely going to have a special place for."
Also in the interview, Jordan expressed his hopes to leave a legacy like NBA star Kobe Bryant and actor Chadwick Boseman, who died seven months apart this year.
“I’ve always wanted to leave behind something that would last longer than my physical body would,” he shared. “’Inspiring’ is so vague.”
Aside from his fruitful Hollywood career and his gorgeous looks, he is also being recognized for his work in promoting racial justice and equity.
Jordan’s Outlier Society Productions was said to be the first to adapt the inclusion rider for its projects. An inclusion rider is a stipulation that actors can put in their contracts to ensure gender and racial equality among a film’s cast and crew. He has also been a staunch supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and actively urged the public to vote in the recent US Presidential election.
"I think there's a time and a place for everything," he told People. "I've been picking my moments to make the most impact. We can all take action—big or small—to help create the change we want to see."