Not only is the Black Panther star the third-straight black personality to receive PEOPLE Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” distinction, he’s also the fourth in the last five years, and fifth overall.
People Magazine broke the news on Wednesday that Michael B. Jordan will grace their cover as 2020’s Sexiest Man Alive, a feature that will celebrate the title’s 35th year in existence. Jordan’s proclamation comes hot on the heels of musician John Legend’s recent 2019 reign. Likewise, it keeps the streak of black folks coming out on top intact, as was started by Idris Elba in 2018.
What’s more, in the last five years, there have been four black winners, starting with celebrity Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in 2016. But the true trailblazer came 20 years earlier, with Denzel Washington becoming the first black man to wear the superficial crown back in 1996.
Like the tweet said, people would much rather prefer forgetting who held the title in 2017. Some might even say that Blake Shelton as Sexiest Man Alive deserved the backlash it got.
Nonetheless, Jordan’s proclamation is a landmark triumph of sorts, as PEOPLE not only chose him for his striking looks, but for the “balance of escapism and comfort and inspiration” that Jordan has been able to provide.
Outside his action movie roles, Jordan’s activist participation in the Black Lives Matter movement helped propel voices forward. In 2016, he started his own production company, Outlier Society Productions, which adopts inclusion riders, which assures a healthy diversity in all of the media it creates.
“I think people are leaning into a kindness after having a difficult year and looking at somebody who is a force for good. And I think Mike is that. […] He also believes in strong women and empowering women, which is fantastic. And so he does a lot of good.” Dan Wakeford, Editor-in-Chief of PEOPLE, said when asked about the selection.
Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm, Rocky’s Adonis Creed, Black Panther’s Erik Killmonger, and now, 2020’s Sexiest Man Alive. Congrats, Michael B. Jordan!