Zayn Malik has topped the long-running 50 Sexiest Asian Men list for a second year in a row. The former One Direction member rounded off a dream year that saw him launch a hugely successful solo singing career to come number one again in the popular poll compiled by UK based Eastern Eye newspaper. India cinematic heartthrob Hrithik Roshan, who topped the poll in 2014 and was dethroned by Zayn in 2015, once again came in second and Pakistani actor Fawad Khan was in the third position.
The 23-year-old, who became the youngest ever to top the poll in 2015, once again topped the list based on millions of votes and heat generated by celebrities in 2016. The latest win continued the incredible momentum generated by the unstoppable pop superstar, who has topped the charts and gained massive attention across the globe, including in media and on social networking sites.
Eastern Eye’s award-winning entertainment editor Asjad Nazir, who founded the list and puts it together annually said Zayn received more global attention than any other Asian star in 2015 and got even more in 2016. “The singer/songwriter showed comprehensively there was life after boy band One Direction with a rip-roaring start to his solo career. It was as if he struck a match, casually threw it at the world and stepped back to watch a wildfire sweep across the continents with his songs burning up the charts. The hot right now pop superstar saw media going into meltdown, social networking sites overheat and countless fans seeing their own temperatures skyrocket,” said Asjad.
The mass interest in the 13th edition of the list was such that it was trending on Twitter across different countries including India during the voting process. Popular Indian television star Ashish Sharma (4) and Bollywood’s current box office king Salman Khan (5) complete the top five. Others in the 2016 top 10 are Barun Sobti (6), Shahid Kapoor (7), Vivian Dsena (8), Ali Zafar (9) and Ranveer Singh (10).
The highest placed newcomer in this year’s list is 24-year-old Indian television actor Param Singh (19) and the oldest in 51-year-old Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan (17). The youngest in the 13 edition of the list is 18-year-old Pakistani tea-stall holder Arshad Khan (31), who is the first man to ever be included as an editor’s choice. “Impoverished teenager Arshad Khan broke the Internet earlier this year when his photograph serving tea sent females around the world into a frenzy. He has since been plucked from obscurity and gained global media attention along with a new career in modeling. He makes the list for representing the every day man and for showing the most impossible dream can come,” said Asjad.
Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, who will make her Hollywood debut in soon to be released thriller xXx: Return Of Xander Cage, had earlier topped the 50 Sexiest Asian Women list for the first time.
Hrithik Roshan (2) remained the highest placed Indian for the sixth year in succession and Virat Kohli (23) was once again the only sportsman to make the list. “Apart from now being the most eligible bachelor in Bollywood, Hrithik remains the biggest pin up the industry has to offer and that was once again showed by the volume of votes he received,” said Asjad.
Ali Zafar (9), had been the highest placed Pakistani in the list for the last nine years, but was finally toppled by fellow countryman Fawad Khan (3) in the 2016 edition.
The full countdown of 2016’s 50 Sexiest Asian Men is published in the UK’s most established and popular Asian newspaper, Eastern Eye, on December 16. “This remains the most relatable list of hottest men published anywhere in the world and explains the large number of guys who vote,” said Asjad explained.