By Bustle: The year is winding down and while there are still turkeys and Christmas trees in the future, a different sort of end of year event has just occurred: the reveal of the Sexiest Man Alive. On Tuesday, People announced that Blake Shelton is the 2017 Sexiest Man Alive. Some people might not have expected the country singer to score the title, but he did. If you’re one of those individuals wondering, “Why is Shelton the Sexiest Man Alive?”, let’s discuss.
Even though Shelton isn’t one of the more huge celebrities, who is constantly making headlines or is in your face with all of his new projects, the 41-year-old singer doesn’t just sit around doing nothing. He released a new album, Texoma Shore, on Nov. 3, which earned him his sixth No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart. He also appears on Season 13 of The Voice and is set to return for Season 14, and he recently opened up Ole Red Tishomingo, a restaurant and music venue in Oklahoma. So, yeah, Shelton’s keeping busy. It seems People wanted to honor all of his hard work.
It also appears that the person selected by People has to agree to the title. For example, Ryan Gosling has never graced the special issue, but according to an insider who spoke with The Wrap in November 2014, Gosling has turned down the recognition multiple times. The insider also told The Wrap, “The consensus was he’s too serious for it, too artsy.” So it seems like the individual chosen has a say in whether or not they want the honor, and, apparently, Shelton was more than happy to embrace it. The title probably doesn’t hurt, especially since he just released a new album. It serves a great way to promote his new music — and himself.
Fans of Shelton might be more than thrilled that their favorite singer is now considered “Sexiest Man Alive,” at least by People, but the honor doesn’t go without some controversy. Shelton has previously come under fire for posting tweets that were racially insensitive and insensitive to the LGBT community(they are now deleted) from five plus years ago. In August 2016, The Sun shared several screenshots of the tweets in question. According to the outlet, one March 2011 tweet read, “Wish the d*ckhead in the next room would either shut up or learn some English so I would at least know what he’s planning to bomb!!” The publication also shared a screenshot of a January 2010 tweet reading: “Question for my gay followers…. Are Skittles y’all’s favorite candy?”
Similar to The Sun, The Music Tea also shared many screenshots (below) in August 2016. The Music Tea also posted screenshots of Shelton referring to women in a disrespectful manner. The Sun also published a screenshot of a November 2010 tweet where Shelton talked about a then 16-year-old Dakota Fanning. The tweet reportedly read: “Sooo…. I just figured out a great excuse for my sick fantasy about Dakota Fanning. I thought she was Amanda Seyfried.”
In August 2016, Shelton apologized for the tweets via Twitter. “Everyone knows comedy has been a major part of my career and it’s always been out there for anyone to see.” He continued, “That said anyone that knows me also knows I have no tolerance for hate of any kind or form. Can my humor at times be inappropriate and immature? Yes. Hateful? Never. That said I deeply apologize to anybody who may have been offended.”
Even though he issued an apology (and one that some found fault with), for People to choose someone who has this kind of past and deem them “sexy” may not have been the best choice.
With that, here’s how many people are reacting to Shelton earning the title:
If you’re confused or upset about People‘s decision, just remember that the Sexiest Man Alive title is totally superficial and doesn’t really mean anything in the long run. Plus, you can choose your own Sexiest Man Alive — something many Twitter users are also doing.