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25 Hottest Sex Symbols of 2015

From the new Kardashian queen and the breakout star of ‘The Force Awakens’ to, uh, Bernie Sanders, these are the year’s sexiest stars

Kylie Jenner, Conor McGregor Hottest Celebs

Mike Windle/Getty; Maarten de Boer/Getty; Jeff Bottari/Zuffa/Getty

Cooking up a Sex Symbols list is easy: Start with a full compliment of Kardashians, add a couple Victoria's Secret models in ridiculous bras, sprinkle in a SI Swimsuit Issue cover star and a pinch of some steely-eyed British actor who will win all the awards, bake at 450 for 35 minutes then serve hot. Always serve hot.

But there's a downside to all that – it usually makes for pretty standard fare. So rather than just cobble together the same old collection of beautiful people, we've done our due diligence, digging deep to find the men and women who made their mark on 2015, and looked good doing it. And there were plenty of potential nominees to choose from – actors, athletes, musicians, politicians and, yes, one member of the Kardashian clan (though she's technically a Jenner) that did great things this year, and had us feeling, well, feelings. These are the 25 Hottest Sex Symbols of 2015.



NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: (L-R) Michael Clifford, Ashton Irwin, Luke Hemmings and Calum Hood of band 5 Seconds Of Summer perform On NBC's "Today" at Rockefeller Plaza on October 28, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Monica Schipper/Getty

5 Seconds of Summer

It's been a while since a band – with instruments and everything – caused so many girls to squeal with delight. The Australian imports became a bona fide sensation this year, with each hunky member taking up prime real estate on teenage bedroom walls across America. Yet despite their looks, 5SoS seem hell-bent on rejecting the "boy band" label they've been stuck with (case in point: this photo). Whatever their formula is, it's working – after their second record, 2015's Sounds Good Feels Good, bowed atop the charts, 5 Seconds of Summer became the first band to have their first two albums debut at number one on the Billboard Top 200. Really. Up next? A world tour, set to kick off in February. And unlike a boy band, they'll be performing live. RKC

Father John Misty

GEORGE, WA - MAY 23: Joshua Tillman of Father John Misty performs live at Sasquatch! Music festival at the Gorge Amphitheater on May 23, 2015 in George, Washington. (Photo by Steven Dewall/Redferns via Getty Images)

Steven Dewall/Redferns/Getty

Father John Misty

Leave it to Josh Tillman to make the institution of marriage sexy. In 2013, the man known as Father John Misty – shamanic sex god and musical misanthrope – got hitched, then spent much of the following year writing an album about it. But rather than bemoaning the death of his bachelorhood, Misty redefined the constructs of love and lust with I Love You, Honeybear, one of 2015's best, most bracing albums. On it, he recounts his first meeting with his future wife, details the various dalliances that dotted his road to the wedding chapel and counters matters of love and sex with forlorn doom, boredom and near nihilism – "Everything is doomed/And nothing will be spared," he sings on the album's title track, "But I love you, Honeybear." In short, it might just be the realest record ever written about marriage. If you're searching for an apocalyptic fantasy, look no further. WM

John Oliver

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 156 -- Pictured: Comedian John Oliver during an interview on February 2, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Lloyd Bishop/NBC/Getty

John Oliver

Sure, we may have slept on the Last Week Tonight host's significance as a sex icon last year, when Playboy unveiled the "Sexy John Oliver" Halloween costume. But it turns out there's still plenty of America's favorite bespectacled British import to go around. Whether he was auditioning for a role in Fifty Shades of Grey, sexualizing the IRS, or breaking down America's backward sex-ed infrastructure (while simultaneously taking jabs at frat boys, teenage stamina and sock condoms), Oliver has repeatedly railed against our dangerously puritanical politics. And that's something we can all, uh, get behind. MS

Jordan Spieth

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 27: Jordan Spieth of the United States plays a bunker shot on the 9th hole during day two of the Australian Open at the Australian Golf Club on November 27, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Mark Metcalfe/Getty

Jordan Spieth

If you dismissed golf as boring, then you missed out on a lot in 2015 – most of which involved the sport's newest sensation, 22-year-old Jordan Spieth. Swagged in head-to-toe Under Armour (and his new Green Jacket), Spieth's Texas charm and sexy swing had folks alternately gushing and seething with jealousy. But his looks merely garnished his athletic accomplishments, as Spieth dominated the PGA Tour. He won both the Masters and the U.S. Open, making him the first golfer in nearly 100 years to win two majors before his 22nd birthday, ascended to Number One on the World Golf Rankings and has earned a modest $31 million for his efforts, staying humble all the while – swoon. His secret? Spieth doesn't win with power, he wins with finesse and balls of steel. WM

Justin Bieber

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been converted to black and white.) Singer Justin Bieber performs onstage during the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Kevin Winter/Getty

Justin Bieber 2.0

This isn't your little sister's Bieber. In 2015, the former teenage prince of pop grew up, got some perspective and proved that he was more than just a flash in the pan. After a few years in the wilderness (where he presumably peed in mop buckets), Bieber returned with "Where Are U Now," a smash that saw him team up with the production duo of Skrillex and Diplo, then dropped Purpose, an album that expanded his sonic horizons, gave him his first Number One on the Hot 100 ("What Do You Mean?") and managed to outgun One Direction's Made in the A.M. in an opening-week sales battle. In the process, he also won over a new generation of fans and breathed new life into his career. Sure, he's still capable of being creepy on Instagram and unfurling his penis for the whole world to see, but just a few short years ago, this dude was abandoning pet monkeys in Germany. That's called progress, people. JM

Justin Trudeau

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 25: Liberal leader Justin Trudeau visited the Toronto Star to speak with the editorial board. (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Bernard Weil/Getty

Justin Trudeau

Paying closer attention to Canadian politics recently? You're not alone. When October election results brought news that Justin Trudeau, son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, would take office as leader of a new Liberal majority (ending the reign of tightly pressed Conservative Stephen Harper), the Internet practically exploded with JFK comparisons; in part because of Trudeau's center-left politics and fresh-faced optimism, and in part because he's a goddamn fox. Between Trudeau's plans to legalize marijuana nationally, his recent visit to Toronto's Pearson Airport to welcome Syrian refugees, and that million-dollar smile, the new PM is a one-man tourism ad. Woah, Canada. MS

Kylie Jenner

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 12: Kylie Jenner arrives at Cosmopolitan Magazine's 50th Birthday Celebration at Ysabel on October 12, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Gregg DeGuire/Getty

Kylie Jenner

She's not the model. Or the one who's married to Kanye. Or the one who was (or maybe still is?) married to Lamar Odom. Instead, 18-year-old Kylie may be the most successful of the Keeping Up With the Kardashians clan, at least based on her current portfolio – and forecasted future earnings. In September, she released a free app (don't worry, there's a paywall that charges users $2.99 a month) that was not only downloaded more times than any of her four sisters', it shot to the top spot on the iTunes App Store chart. When she revealed she preferred MAC's "Spice" lip pencil on Instagram, sales shot up to such a degree that the cosmetics giant experienced nationwide shortages. And then she launched her own Kylie Lip Kit, which – you guessed it – sold out in minutes. Oh, and did we mention she was just named the most reblogged reality star on Tumblr, beating out all of her sisters. Again. In short, she's a millennial money making machine. Sorry, Tyga – you blew it. JM


NEW YORK - OCTOBER 17: Le1f poses for a portrait backstage before his performance at 130 Hope Street on October 17, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images)

Roger Kisby/Getty


"I think I am the hottest toddy at the party," New York emcee Le1f raps on his hyperactive single "Koi," and if you've been following him for the last few years, it's hard to disagree with that assessment. Le1f's gender-fluid artistry is reminiscent of iconic artists like Grace Jones and David Bowie, and his ability to flit from slurred come-ons to razor-sharp flow made him the year's most unclassifiable act. Which is kind of the point. His debut album Riot Boi included collaborations with subversive artists like SOPHIE and Junglepussy, and his off the wall, conceptual music videos have brought a healthy dose of surrealism to hip-hop. Addressing subjects like racism, classism, sexism and homophobia with style, Le1f is not just sexy, he's fearless. RKC

Michael B. Jordan

Warner Bros.

Michael B. Jordan

After an early career that featured small-screen work on The Wire and Friday Night Lights, the 28-year-old Jordan became a bankable big-screen star thanks to 2012's sleeper hit Chronicle, then earned raves for his role as Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station. But in 2015, he broke out big time with Creed, the umpteenth (OK, more like seventh) installment of the Rocky franchise that saw him show off his acting chops – and chiseled abs – as Adonis Creed, the estranged son of Rocky Balboa's former rival. Is he Hollywood's next great leading man? Quite possibly, but Jordan doesn't seem all that concerned with his star status: At the moment, he's busy writing a comic book – hey, anything to preserve that face. SA

Rami Malek

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 12: (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been digitally altered) Actor Rami Malek of Showtime's 'Mr.Robot' poses in the Getty Images Portrait Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy at the 2015 Summer TCA's at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 12, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portrait)

Maarten de Boer/Getty

Rami Malek

He's paid his dues in standard fare like TV's The War at Home (Don't remember it? Doesn't matter) and the Night at the Museum franchise, but the 34-year-old Malek found his greatest success – and legions of new fans – by veering off Hollywood's beaten path. In 2015, he starred in Mr. Robot, USA Network's critically lauded, too-cool-for TV drama, and Until Dawn, a PS4 horror game that pushed the survival genre into gory new territory. He just earned a Golden Globe nomination for his work on Robot, but don't let that – or the show's icy take on 21st century life – fool you; turns out, he's just a normal guy, with student loans and everything. Now you two will have something to talk about! JM

Ruby Rose

JoJo Whilden/Netflix

Ruby Rose

If all goes well, maybe one day we'll look back on Ruby Rose as a major figure in America's slow march towards accepting gender fluidity. Much more than just another pretty face, the 29-year-old Rose got her start as model and TV personality in Australia, and in 2014 released Break Free, a short film in which she manipulated her appearance across the gender spectrum. The video went viral, and a year later, she appeared as androgynous Australian inmate Stella Carlin in the third season of Netflix hit Orange is the New Black, developing a fanbase that befits some combination of pin-up model, LGBT advocate and Hollywood superstar. Not a bad cellmate. MS

Allen J. Schaben

LOS ANGELES, CA JANUARY 21, 2015: Country singer Sam Hunt, whose R&B-inflected "Montevallo" was one of 2014's most adventurous albums, is photographed at I-D Public Relations in Los Angeles Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. Hunt performs at the Troubadour on Thursday 1/29. (Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

llen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty

Sam Hunt

A football star in high school, Hunt played through a series of injuries at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, but was still good enough to earn a training camp invite from the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. He didn't make the team, but football's loss was our gain. Hunt – who taught himself to play guitar while in college – headed to Nashville, where he found success as a songwriter, and in early 2014, he inked a deal with MCA Nashville. And the rest was (very literally) history: His solo debut, Montevallo, featured three platinum hits, making him the first country artist to have all the singles from his debut crack the top 40 of Billboard's Hot 100, and earned him a pair of Grammy nominations, including one for Best New Artist. But what makes him a sex symbol? I mean, do you have eyes? JM

Serena Williams

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: Serena Williams in action against Madison Keys of the United States (not seen) of the United States during their Women's Singles Fourth Round match on Day Seven of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City, on September 6, 2015. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Serena Williams

In 2015, she pulled off her second Serena Slam, meaning she won all four of tennis' Grand Slam tournaments consecutively, and came within two matches of winning all four tournaments in the same calendar year – a feat that hasn't been accomplished since Steffi Graf pulled it off in 1988. That Williams did it at the age of 33 (she turned 34 in September) was impressive; that she made it look so effortless was jaw dropping. Simply put, Serena dominated 2015, and she was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year for her efforts. She's also a style icon, an inspiration and a genuine badass – just ask the dude who tried to steal her cellphone – the rare female athlete so successful it really didn't matter who she was dating…even if that person may have been Drake. Now that's saying something. JM

Shu Qi

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 24: Taiwanese actress Shu Qi attends the closing ceremony and Premiere of "La Glace Et Le Ciel" ("Ice And The Sky") during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 24, 2015 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Ian Gavan/Getty

Shu Qi

The Taiwanese actress and model has appeared in nearly 80 films to date, making her one of the most bankable stars in Hong Kong cinema – and though she's done some international work, too (most notably alongside Jason Statham in The Transporter), it was her role in 2015's The Assassin that truly put her on the global stage. Starring as the titular killer, she cut a swath of destruction across the screen, and the film was nominated for the prestigious Palme d'Or at Cannes. It's also Taiwan's official submission in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the 88th Academy Awards, and we're willing to bet it makes the cut. After watching The Assassin, we wouldn't want to cross her…JM