ESSENCE's 2013 Sexiest Man of the Year: 50 Reasons to Love Idris Elba

Of course you saw this one coming. Gorgeous Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom star Idris Elba has always reigned supreme as the Black woman's ultimate crush, so it's only right that we pay tribute to his all-around greatness like only ESSENCE can.

Charli Penn Dec, 09, 2013

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Both on and offscreen actor Idris Elba commands a certain presence that's absolutely undeniable. Women flock to this man like moths to a flame and he always brings the heat. Let's take a look at some of his finest moments caught on camera. Ladies, can you handle it?

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Sadly, Elba is officially off the market these days (and expecting a little one soon) but that doesn't mean we can't admire his perfect features and debonair qualities. Sigh....would you look at this man?

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Elba shows off his signature stare during a press room photo shoot in 2012. Yummy!

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The whole "tortured artist" look really suits Elba well. Wouldn't you agree?

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Elba dons a suit when the occasion calls and it only makes his female fans adore him more. Stringer Bell has come a long way, huh ladies?

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When Elba smiles, he dazzles. We're seeing stars, moons and rainbows right about now.

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Idris, take us away!! Have you ever seen a man look better in stripes? Not us.

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Actor Idris Elba is a vision of sophistication and sexy behind the scenes of his last ESSENCE magazine cover shoot.

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Idris kicks back for a sexy portrait on the shoot for his Novemeber 2011 ESSENCE magazine cover. He says he doesn’t want to be a sex symbol, but if he keeps looking this delicious on camera he will never have a choice.

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Idris is proud father to 11-year-old daughter Isan, who’s surprisingly not so wrapped up in her father’s super stardom. “She’s a nerd really, which I couldn’t be more grateful for,” says Idris. “She’s not much impressed with what I do, but she does see how people react to me in the streets.”

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“I think what audiences expect of me is to act my ass off, and that’s great, because that’s what I do, that’s what I love doing.”

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After a bumpy start to his career when he moved to New York, from London, in 2002, Idris has seen a string of successes only catapult him to more fame year after year.

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Idris knows people like to catch a photo of him on the move, so when he hits the red carpet he’s always dressed to impress.

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Idris has many looks, but we especially love his unshaven sex appeal.

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Oh, boy, doesn’t Idris look good in a suit?

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Idris was named the face of Smart Water and debuted a super sexy ad campaign the ladies couldn't stop swooning over. We’re no experts, but we bet the Smart Water sales have gone up tremendously. (Wink!)

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Is Idris selling sex or water? We can’t be sure! Either way, we like it!

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Idris is not only Hollywood’s leading man, but he’s proof every day that talented brothers can make it to mainstream superstardom if they have the acting chops.

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Idris’ recent success with his BBC America smash hit crime thriller Luther, in which he plays the starring role, earned him Emmy award nominations in 2011 and 2012.

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Idris is spotted by paparazzi showing off his perfectly stacked body in a see-through shirt. More, please!

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Idris, shown here in an ad for his hit show Luther on BBC America, is our favorite leading man.

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Did we mention Idris looks good in anything? Not every man can look this good fully clothed.

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His female fans make it no secret that they feel Idris’ eyes are one of his best assets. Aren’t they lovely?

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Idris once treated his Twitter followers to this steamy self portrait.

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As a struggling actor Idris made money to support his family spinning records at local night clubs. Now, he doesn’t have to do it to pay bills, but he still can’t resist spinning those turntables from time to time under the moniker DJ Dris.

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Even from the side Idris bring the sexy.

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Idris recently rocked a Mohawk style haircut for awhile leaving his female fans with yet another look to obsess over.

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Idris has many, many styles to adore, but we’re really digging him in a hat. Who knew one man could give us so many ways to love him?

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Idris had a multiple episode arc on Showtime’s hit series The Big C, where he played Laura Linney’s steamy love interest. His loyal fans stayed glued to their TVs to support him every Monday night.

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There he goes working those hats to perfection again. And oh, those lips, are just divine. What’s not to love about Idris?

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It's tough to get on-on-one with Idris Elba, but the last time ESSENCE got him talkng, he opened up about fatherhood, success and fame in the November issue of ESSENCE. (On stands now!)

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Elba’s taste in women?

“You see actors with models and actresses, and it’s so cliché,” he notes. "I’d rather date someone who’s regular.

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Behind Elba’s smoldering gaze, he’s got plenty on his mind. The actor says he’s always thinking about his next move.

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“There is something quite devious about my personality,” he says. “I’ll do all the right things. I’ll be the upstanding gentleman. But behind closed doors, I want to let loose.”

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Elba’s aura made him the ideal leading man for 2009’s Obsessed, where a female employee becomes infatuated with his married character.

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Elba cleaned up nicely for the 2009 BET Awards once again proving he can rock any red carpet.

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Elba gets into character on the set of the final season of The Office in 2012 when he made a multiple episode guest appearance as the new head boss at Dunder Mifflin.

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Idris gives the cameras his best shot at a New York premiere. He credits his loyal female following for encouraging him to play characters that are “doing well, looking good, and, in some cases, [being] larger than life.”

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For many sisters Elba is their fantasy man in the flesh.

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Elba gets comfortable on the set of his first ever ESSENCE cover shoot in 2009.

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Elba attends the 2008 Toronto Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.

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With his dad from Sierra Leon and his mom from Ghana, Elba fit right in 2009 on the set of Africa-based drama The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency starring Jill Scott.

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Elba played a sexy detective after a killer in Prom Night.

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Even in uniform, Elba is captivating in 28 Weeks Later.

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Playing a single dad of three girls in Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls wasn’t a total stretch for Elba, who is the proud father of one daughter. (By the way, we were so jealous of Gabby back then!)

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Elba wears his support of President Barack Obama on his sleeve in 2009.

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Wherever Idris Elba ascends to in Hollywood, he’s taking our hearts with him.

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The leading man showing off his sexy stare.

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Though Elba has mastered playing the tough guy on screen, he’s far from rotten in real life.

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DJ Dris kept the party going in 2009 at the ESSENCE Music Festival.