BOLLYWOOD star Priyanka Chopra once again beat off tough global competition to retain her title as the sexiest Asian woman in the world this year.
The singer and actress – who has a thriving career in India and the US - came out on top of the popular annual poll conducted by the UK-based Eastern Eye newspaper.
This is the third time in the past four years that Priyanka has topped the long-running list of 50 sexiest Asian women on the planet and comes following a special year of achievements for the actress.
She won accolades for her 2014 film Mary Kom, hit Bollywood film Dil Dhadakne Do and made her debut in American TV drama, Quantico.Not surprisingly, the former Miss World was clearly delighted to hold onto her crown.
“Now that’s a title I’m happy to hold on to. I’m bringing sexy back! A big thank you to everyone who’s voted for me,” she said, adding: “Thank you also to Eastern Eye for making me feel ‘sexy’; well, at least for another year. A piece of advice to the ladies - it’s all in the mind. Remember, sexy is as sexy does.”
Millions of votes poured in from across the globe for 12th edition of the list and it was trending on Twitter across India and Pakistan in the run-up to the publication of the list.
Eastern Eye’s award-winning entertainment editor Asjad Nazir, who compiles the annual list, believes Priyanka has become the global face of India.
“Priyanka Chopra is doing India proud on the global stage and winning loads of admirers. This was illustrated by the largest-ever number of votes by non-Asians that she received from all over the world. She is clearly building bridges internationally through her art and will continue to do so in the coming years. And by excelling in TV, film and music, the multi-talented actress has shown just how far hard work can take you,” said Asjad.
Popular television actress Sanaya Irani rose one place from last year to come second and fellow small screen star Drashti Dhami took third spot.
Top Bollywood actresses Deepika Padukone were ranked four and Katrina Kaif five, respectively.
Others in the top 10 are Nia Sharma (6), Kareena Kapoor Khan (7), Gauahar Khan (8), Sonam Kapoor (9) and the highest placed Pakistani, Mahira Khan, (10).
The highest placed newcomer in this year’s list is young Indian television actress Niti Taylor (15), who thanked her fans for all their “love, support and blessings”, which elevated her into the list for the first time.
Just as in the past few years, the biggest surprise was the dominance of television stars. Sanaya Irani (2), Drashti Dhami (3), Nia Sharma (6) and Gauahar Khan (8) all retained their places in the top 10.
Other small-screen actresses in the list included Preetika Rao (11), Shakti Mohan (12), Asha Negi (13), Surbhi Jyoti (17), Charlie Chauhan (22), Hina Khan (26), Anita Hassanandani (28), Sukiriti Kandpal (31) and Mohena Singh (43).
“There are 27 small-screen stars in the list this year, which once again shows television has become the most powerful and popular medium of all. Even the winner, Priyanka Chopra, made her television debut with Quantico this year.
This shows that TV plays arguably the biggest part in the lives of people around the world. It also illustrates why so many movie producers are now signing TV actresses for big film projects and why movie stars are venturing into TV,” said Asjad.
The highest placed British woman is once again Jasmin Walia (28) and Canadian actress Hannah Simone (35), a newcomer in the list, is the highest-placed North American.
At 48 years, Madhuri Dixit (44) is the oldest lady in the 2015 countdown and 20-year-old actress Radhika Madan (24) is the youngest.
Others in the 2015 list include Shraddha Kapoor (19), Bipasha Basu (25), Alia Bhatt (27), Parineeti Chopra (33), Mehreen Syed (38) and Kanika Kapoor (48).
The full countdown of 2015’s 50 Sexiest Asian Women is published in the UK’s most established and popular Asian newspaper, Eastern Eye, out on December 11.
“What continues to make this list really special is the strong presence of ‘real women’ who the public can relate to. Most fans look at the all-round qualities of those they are voting for and that is why more women than men vote annually,” Asjad explained.