Hitting EGOTSMA-status won’t change him! John Legend’s response to being named People‘s Sexiest Man Alive the year after actor Idris Elba held the title goes to show that the Voice coach isn’t really letting his new acronym go to his head. In typical Legend fashion, he reacted in a way that was equal parts humble and hilarious. Even better? His response included a throwback photo of “1995 John” who is, according to 2019 John, “very perplexed” by this new honor.
On Tuesday night, People magazine announced that Legend would be taking over the Sexiest Man Alive title for 2019 from last year’s winner, Elba. Naturally, Legend is no stranger to prestigious awards. He is one of only 15 people with EGOT status — the achievement of having won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. But of adding SMA to his EGOT, Legend says he’s more than a little surprised (especially to be succeeding Elba).
On his Instagram account, Legend shared a photo of Elba next to a throwback photo of himself. “1995 John would be very perplexed to be following 2018 @IdrisElba as #SexiestManAlive. Hell, 2019 John is about as equally perplexed but thank you @People for finding me sexy. I’ll take it.”
In all seriousness, though, Legend admits he experienced some trepidation when People first approached him about the honor. “I was excited, but I was a little scared at the same time because it’s a lot of pressure,” he told People in this week’s cover story. “Everyone’s going to be picking me apart to see if I’m sexy enough to hold the title. I’m [also] following Idris Elba, which is not fair and not nice to me!”
Elba obviously isn’t the only previous Sexiest Man Alive to pass the proverbial torch to Legend. In fact, it’s becoming a bit of a tradition on The Voice. In 2013, Adam Levine earned the title, followed by Blake Shelton in 2017. Legend sat down after being crowned with the latter for a special edition of Legend’s “Trailer Talk” social media segment. There, he joked that he knows that why he really got picked: He’s married to Chrissy Teigen, who is both sexy and cool, so he appears sexy and cool by proxy.
And hey, we aren’t going to fight him on that point. Teigen is amazing. But according to People, they also picked Legend for being “one of Hollywood’s biggest stars while remaining as down-to-earth as ever” — which he proved with his self-deprecating reaction to the title.
So, soak it up, Legend! Perplexed or not, you’re a full-blown EGOTSMA now.