Beyonce is People's 'Most Beautiful Woman,' 1st black honoree in 9 years
Beyonce has been named People's "Most Beautiful Woman" of 2012, which makes her the first black celebrity to grace the cover of the magazine's "Most Beautiful" issue in nine years and the second since it began the tradition two decades ago.
The 30-year-old pop and R&B singer was dubbed a "style and beauty" icon by the publication. The 16-time Grammy winner and "Dreamgirls" actress made headlines this year when she and husband Jay-Z welcomed their first child, daughter Blue Ivy, in January.
"I feel more beautiful than I've ever felt because I've given birth," Beyonce told People. "I have never felt so connected and I never felt like I had such a purpose on this earth and never so proud of myself. So, I'm very honored and it means more to me that I was named this after I became a mother."
"The best thing about having a daughter is having a true legacy," she added. "The word 'love' means something completely different now."
In 2003, Halle Berry became the first celebrity with an African-American parent to be named People's "Most Beautiful Person." Jennifer Lopez was given the title in 2011, when she made her debut as a judge on "American Idol," and is the first Hispanic celebrity to receive the honor. Julia Roberts secured the title four times - most recently in 2010.
The first person to grace the cover of People's "Most Beautiful" issue was Michelle Pfeiffer, in 1990. Others named the "Most Beautiful Person" include Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston (see a full list).
Unlike many stars, Beyonce has tended to keep her personal life private. While going out in public with her daughter, she covers the baby's face. She shared the first photos of the child and personal snapshots of her and Jay-Z on her Tumblr blog, marking an innovative method of communication with her fans that allows her to maintain control of her image and brand.
Beyonce also used her website to publish a letter she had written to the Michelle Obama, wife of the U.S. president, who she called "the ULTIMATE example of a truly strong African American woman."
It was announced in March that the songstress has scheduled her first concerts since giving birth to her daughter.
The singer will perform three gigs in the new beachfront Revel Resort in Atlantic, City, New Jersey between May 25 and May 27, over Memorial Weekend, when the hotel opens to the public officially. Tickets for the concerts, which can seat a little more than 5,000 people, go on sale on April 6.