John Legend, People’s Sexiest Man Alive? He’s surprised too

John Legend
John Legend has been crowned People’s Sexiest Man Alive of 2019.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

John Legend — a man who has spurred several memes for his uncanny resemblance to Arthur the aardvark — has just been crowned People’s Sexiest Man Alive of 2019. And he’s as shocked as anyone.

The EGOT winner humbly reacted to Tuesday’s announcement on Twitter by sharing a side-by-side photo of himself and last year’s pick, Idris Elba, to illustrate his surprise. Meanwhile, his wife and social media connoisseur Chrissy Teigen wasted no time taking advantage of the occasion to churn out comedic content of her own.

“1995 John would be very perplexed to be following 2018 @IdrisElba as #SexiestManAlive,” the “All of Me” singer captioned a collage of a spectacle-clad, younger version of himself (hey, Arthur!) alongside the muscular action star. “Hell, 2019 John is about as equally perplexed but thank you @People for finding me sexy. I’ll take it.”


Teigen, who also gladly participated in the Arthur meme craze, hilariously trolled her husband yet again in a string of tweets, which included the hashtag #EGOTPSMA (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, People’s Sexiest Man Alive), an important report that “the sexiest man alive just made me a ham sandwich” and a long string of “hahahas” in reaction to the singer-songwriter’s smoldering interactive magazine cover.

She also updated her bio to read, “currently sleeping with people’s sexiest man alive.”

“@johnlegend come home please,” she tweeted last night after the news broke. “We want to make fun of you in person.”

Legend wasn’t the only one “perplexed” by his new title. Twitter was also quick to voice its confusion, with many once again comparing him to Arthur, contrasting him with Elba or offering their own alternative options, from Jason Momoa to Keanu Reeves.


Others were quick to point out some past controversial choices, such as country singer Blake Shelton and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who nabbed their honors in 2017 and 2013, respectively.

“All I’m saying is People magazine once crowned Blake Shelton sexiest man alive and they cannot be trusted,” one user wrote.

And some sensed a suspicious trend, noting that Legend, Shelton and Levine have all served as musical coaches on NBC’s “The Voice” at one point or another.

“Does The Voice buy Sexiest Man Alive?” someone mused. “Three of the judges graced the cover. Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and now John Legend.”


Still, there were some vocal members of the Legend fan club who happily celebrated the announcement, including Elba, who took it upon himself to build his successor back up after his self-deprecating acceptance tweet, while giving a sarcastic shout-out to another widely accepted former Sexiest Man, Dwayne Johnson.

“My G,” Elba wrote to Legend, with some raised-hands emojis. “Congratulations brother !!! You deserve it. DO NOT TELL @TheRock. He still thinks he’s got the title, I didn’t have the heart to tell him when I took it.”

Johnson took the dig in stride, also penning a congratulatory message to the newest member of the sexy club, followed by a sassy comeback toward his “Hobbs & Shaw” costar.

“Congratulations brother!!” he tweeted. “Welcome to the club. You earned this one. Just like I did. And unlike @idriselba who paid @people 50% of his future earnings for his sexy title The three of us will raise a tequila glass soon. Congrats again you sexy SOB.”


Legend is People’s 34th Sexiest Man Alive, joining a long lineage of sultry stars including Marvel’s Chris Hemsworth, soccer phenom David Beckham, “Magic Mike” mastermind Channing Tatum and “A Star Is Born” actor-director Bradley Cooper.