|Jon Bon Jovi|
This week Billboard offered fans the chance to vote for the sexiest male and female vocal artists from among ten candidates. An “Other” category is provided for those who prefer an unlisted singer. With apologies to faithful Just Janga follower Q, I’m going to focus this post on the sexiest males since I find them much more interesting. I speak as one who needs regular inspiration for fictional heroes, of course.
I took a look at the list, but honestly I can’t take seriously a list that includes both Jon Bon Jovi (who, I must admit, still looked fine in his Billboard cover story photos back in October) and Justin Bieber (who sets the oldest grand’s age group squeeing). But the Billboard list did set me thinking about other lists of sexiest men.
People’s annual Sexiest Man Alive is probably the best known. It’s been going strong since 1985 when a young Mel Gibson was the inaugural title winner. I confess that I’ve never missed a cover issue, but my reaction to the winner has ranged from “Oh, Yes!” (George Clooney, Hugh Jackman, Denzel Washington) to “Hmm” (most of the time) to WTF (Nick Nolte). I read and enjoyed both Diana Holquist’s Sexiest Man Alive (2007) and Julie James’s Just the Sexiest Man Alive (2008), and I’ve had fun debating the merits of the winner versus contenders with friends on boards, blogs, and Twitter. But I take the title far less seriously than some people do. People’s choice of Bradley Cooper in 2011 sent irate fans of Ryan Gosling into the streets to protest the slight to their man. I'd vote with Team Cooper, but to each her own.
As a country music fan, I took careful note when CountryMusic Television announced country music’s sexiest men in 2004. I heartily concurred with Keith Urban as #1. "Raining on Sunday" is also on my list of sexiest songs. But my general reaction closely mirrored my response to the People stars. Some I viewed with enthusiasm, some with interest, and some with bewilderment. I expect there would be some changes if CMT did a 2012 list, but I bet Urban would still place high. He has also been included on People’s list of sexiest men, so clearly his appeal is not limited to the country audience.
It earned mockery from some, but a lesser known list gets lots of love from me. AARP’s list of the twenty-one sexiest men over fifty includes George Clooney, Jon Bon Jovi, and Colin Firth along with author John Irving (70), Academy Award winner for the screenplay of his novel The Cider House Rules, and actor James Brolin (71), husband of Barbra Streisand. Huffington Post responded with their own list of candidates for over-50 hotties. I enjoyed this list too until I saw Ralph Macchio. The idea of the Karate Kid as a fifty-year-old is just depressing.
So who’s on your list? And whom do you think People will choose in 2012?