Rihanna Is 'Esquire' Magazine's Sexiest Woman Alive 2011

The singer strips down for a sultry pictorial, and even praises ex-boyfriend Chris Brown in an accompanying interview

Move over, Minka Kelly and Kate Beckinsale! There's a new Sexiest Woman Alive, and her name is Rihanna. Esquire magazine has bestowed their annual Sexiest Woman title on the sultry singer, who succeeds 2009 winner Beckinsale and 2010 honoree Kelly as the men's magazine's most lust-inducing woman on the planet.

In addition to a steamy, mostly nude pictorial (see the photo above), the magazine also features an interview with Rihanna and a detailed look at her evolution from 16-year-old Robyn Rihanna Fenty (her given name) to the iconic 23-year-old pop star she is today. Unsurprisingly, the topic of Chris Brown factors in heavily.

It's been two-and-a-half years since Rihanna filed domestic abuse charges against then-boyfriend Brown and ended up receiving a restraining order against him (it has since been lifted). While the public has had a hard time forgetting what Brown did to Rihanna, she seems to have moved on. In fact, in her interview with Esquire she goes so far as to praise her ex.

"It's incredible to see how he pulled out of it the way he did. Even when the world seemed like it was against him, you know?" she says. "I really like the music he's putting out. I'm a fan of his stuff. I've always been a fan."

That's not to say that she and Brown are on good terms now -- not by any means. But Rihanna is able to wish the 22-year-old rapper well in his career and his life.

"Obviously, I had some resentment toward him for a while, for obvious reasons. But I've put that behind me. It was taking up too much of my time. It was too much anger," Rihanna says. "I'm really excited to see the breakthrough he's had in his career. I would never wish anything horrible for him. Never. I never have."

A lot of the Esquire story is spent talking about how much "sex" Rihanna infuses into her performances and her public persona. It is an appropriate topic, considering the magazine named the Barbados native their Sexiest Woman Alive. But Rihanna seems oblivious to just how much "sex" she infuses into her performances.

The way Esquire describes Rihanna's performance at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, N.Y., back in July, it basically sounds like one giant on-stage orgy. There was a lot of simulated sex and caressing, despite the fact that Rihanna's mother and grandmother were in the audience. But Rihanna says that only one section of her show is meant to be the "sex" part. The rest of it is just a coincidence.

"Honestly, even if it comes across sexual -- it has to be a part of my subconscious thought. It's never deliberate in the rest of the show. I don't even really... I could see 'What's My Name?' -- the dancing is pretty sexy. 'Rude Boy.' But I don't know," she says. "I guess people find different things sexy."

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