Popular singer Zayn Malik has topped the 50 Sexiest Asian Men list for the first time. The former One Direction band member beat off tough competition in the long-running poll compiled by UK based Eastern Eye newspaper to be declared the sexiest Asian man on the planet for 2015.

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Last year’s winner, Bollywood actor, Hrithik Roshan came in second with Pakistani singer and actor Ali Zafar holding onto third position. Pop superstar Zayn rose up from ninth position last year and came out on top following millions of votes from across the globe for the 12th edition of the popular annual poll. At 22-years-old he also became the youngest ever to top the list.

The surprise win rounds off a very eventful year for the young British singer/songwriter who has been under a global media spotlight since he left super group One Direction and subsequently landed a lucrative solo contract.

Zayn Malik and Hrithik Roshan
Zayn Malik and Hrithik Roshan

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.

Popular Indian television stars Barun Sobti (4) and Vivian Dsena (5) complete the top five. Others in the top 10 are 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).

Just like the 50 Sexiest Asian Women list, 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). “There are 29 stars in the list of 50 Sexiest Asian Men for 2015, 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 in the world we live in 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,” said Asjad.

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).

The full countdown of 2015’s 50 Sexiest Asian Men is published in the UK’s most established and popular Asian newspaper, Eastern Eye, 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. This results in relatable men in the list, which makes it even more popular,” said Asjad explained.

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