LOS ANGELES • Blake Shelton was named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine, a first for any country singer, prompting the judge of The Voice to shake off his shyness about his looks.
"I've been ugly my whole life," Shelton, 41, said in a statement on Tuesday. "If I can be sexy for a year, I'm taking it!"
The Oklahoma native spent a decade in country music before his popularity surged in 2011 as the wise-cracking mentor to aspiring singers on NBC's talent competition. His most recent album, Texoma Shore, was released earlier this month.
He was formerly married to country singer Miranda Lambert and has been dating rocker Gwen Stefani for the past two years. He told People that Stefani, 48, had encouraged him to accept the title of Sexiest Man Alive.
"She goes, 'Listen to me, you're going to regret this for the rest of your life if you don't take this gift and just live in the moment,'" he said.
Previous title holders include actors Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford, Ryan Reynolds and former England football captain David Beckham.
Shelton - who says he has a passion for eating and a weakness for snacks such as jalapeno poppers and pickles, especially when he is home in Oklahoma - joked that he has finally come into his own.
The title is "going to be used in every conversation, whether it's at The Voice, or at the (animal) feed (store) in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, or in a conversation with a doctor", he said.
The honour is another thing he now shares with his fellow Voice judge and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.
"I can't wait to shove this up Adam's a**," he told People. "As proud as I am and honoured that you guys asked me, that's really the only thing I care about."
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE