Zayn Malik quit One Direction earlier this year
Zayn Malik has topped Eastern Eye’s annual list of 50 Sexiest Asian Men, beating last year’s winner, Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan into second place and Pakistani singer-actor Ali Zafar who holds onto his third position.
Zayn, the former One Direction band member and pop superstar, rose from ninth position last year and came out on top after millions voted for the 12th edition of the popular annual poll.
At the tender age of 22 years, he is also the youngest ever to top the list.
The surprise win rounds off a very eventful year for the young British singer-songwriter who has made headlines since quitting One Direction and subsequently landing a lucrative solo contract.
Eastern Eye’s award-winning entertainment editor Asjad Nazir, who compiles the list, said Zayn received more global attention than any other Asian star in 2015.
“Leaving One Direction did no damage at all to Zayn. From social networking sites to global media, everyone was talking about Zayn this year. Whether it was his haircuts, love life, solo career or life after One Direction, he had the kind of mass interest globally never seen before for an Asian celebrity.
“He has also established arguably the most multi-cultural fan base in the world and this was illustrated by the diversity of those who voted in force for him from around the world. And he did all this without an official solo single release. The prospect of what he can achieve when his official debut single releases is mind-blowing,” said Asjad.
Among others in the top 10 are popular Indian television stars Barun Sobti (4), Vivian Dsena (5), Fawad Khan (6), Salman Khan (7), Shahid Kapoor (8), Shah Rukh Khan (9) and Gurmeet Choudhary (10).
The highest placed newcomer in this year’s list is 24-year-old Indian television actor Parth Samthaan (11).
Similar to Eastern Eye’s 50 Sexiest Asian Women list published last week, television stars dominated in a big way.
Other small screen stars in the list include Kushal Tandon (13), Gautam Rode (16), Kunwar Amar (17), Rithvik Dhanjani (20), Harshad Arora (23), Shakti Arora (25), Mohit Sehgal (28), Shaheer Sheikh (31), Shabir Ahluwalia (35), Ravi Dubey (40) and Gautam Gulati (43).
Asjad added: “In this year’s list of 50 Sexiest Asian Men for 2015, there are 29 stars who are either working in television or made a mark on the small screen before switching to cinema. This not only demonstrates the dominance of TV today, but also shows changing taste of audiences who are choosing to stay at home.
“Expect more small screen stars to be signed for movies in the coming years and more A-list movie stars to take on TV projects.”
Ali Zafar (3) remained the highest placed Pakistani for the ninth year in a row and Hrithik Roshan (2) remained the highest placed Indian for the fifth year in succession. Virat Kohli (30) is the only sportsman to make the list and 50-year-old actor Shah Rukh Khan (9) is the oldest in the 2015 countdown.
Others in the 2015 list include Ranbir Kapoor (12), Varun Dhawan (15), Ashish Sharma (18), Ranveer Singh (22), Akshay Kumar (24), Rana Daggubati (29), singer Arjun (36), Atif Aslam (39) and Emraan Hashi (46).
For the complete list of 2015’s 50 Sexiest Asian Men, pick up this week’s issue of Eastern Eye from your local newsagent on December 18.
“What makes the men’s list unique is the large number of guys who vote. Most see those in the list as role models they aspire to be like - which makes it even more popular,” said Asjad.
The mass interest in the 2015 edition of the list was such that it was trending on Twitter across different countries including India and Pakistan during the voting process.