Teyana Taylor Becomes The First Black Woman Named Maxim's Sexiest Woman Alive

Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock
Teyana Taylor

Maxim has finally dubbed a Black woman their "Sexiest Woman Alive" for the first time.

Say hello to Teyana Me Shay Jacqueli Taylor Shumpert!

We are here for all of her Black girl magic.

Let’s take a look at just how she rose to fame.

Who is Teyana Taylor?

Teyana Taylor is a mother of two, as well as an actress, supermodel, singer-songwriter, dancer, director and the wife of NBA basketball player Iman Shumpert.

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She was born December 10, 1990, and raised in Harlem, New York.

Taylor is not only a dancer. She has choreographed performances for none of other than Beyoncé.

Growing up, Taylor listened to artists like Lauryn Hill, Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.

She was introduced to the music business at an early age, and at just 16 years old, Taylor was hired as a choreographer for the one and only Queen B, creating the choreography for Beyoncé’s hit video for "Ring the Alarm."

In 2007, Taylor stepped into the public eye in an episode of MTV’s "My Super Sweet 16."

Instead of asking for an over-the-top expensive car like other birthday girls the show featured, she asked for... wait for it... a bike.

Taylor is also a talented singer.

That same year, Taylor signed to Pharrell's Star Trak Entertainment Imprint and dropped her single "Google Me."

After a few years, Taylor linked up with powerhouse Kanye West while he was crafting one of his most notable albums, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy."

While in the studio listening to West’s album, she began humming in an effort to catch Kanye’s ear — and did she ever. Taylor secured a spot doing the background vocals for the album and eventually signed to West’s Def-Jam-affiliated G.O.O.D label.

Throughout the years, Taylor has dropped multiple albums, with her latest, simply titled "The Album," her first to make the Billboard Top 10.

And Taylor is also an actress.

Teyana got her feet wet in acting thanks to her roles in "Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming" and "Madea’s One Big Happy Family."

In that one, she plays baby mama Sabrina, who's always hollering “BYYRRROOONNN!”

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She's a fashionista.

Taylor is not only an R&B artist, dancer and actress, but she also has been seen on numerous occasions at New York Fashion Week.

In 2019, Taylor was signed to IMG Models, and she has been featured on the cover of GQ magazine.

Taylor is a mom of two.

When Taylor is not on stage, she is a mother to two beautiful children, Iman Jr., 5, and Rue, 9 months, with her husband Iman Shumpert, who most recently played for the Brooklyn Nets.

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Fans can get a closer look at her life by watching their reality television series "We Got Love Iman and Tenaya," as they balance busy schedules as both parents and professionals.

The show is set to premiere on E! at an as yet unannounced date.

Taylor says she was completely caught off guard when she was named Maxim’s Sexiest Woman Alive.

Taylor had actually said in December 2020 that in her career, she had felt "under-appreciated" and "overlooked."

We can certainly say that's no longer the case.

When the news broke that she'd gotten the Maxim honor, Taylor took to Instagram again to share her reaction, writing, "Somebody pinch me! Wow."

"Stepping back in front of the lens has been a journey of self-reflection and self-confidence," she continued. "Living up to [the] name and title of this shoot wholeheartedly made me nervous. As an entrepreneur, wife, a busy mother of two, and working behind the lens in my director bag I tend to hide behind my sweats and vintage tees, my 'Spike Tey' glasses, and whatever hairstyle I've mustered up that day. So I as you can see I don't have much time to be and feel sexy."

In Maxim’s cover photo, Taylor can be seen sporting no makeup, cornrows and a simple tank top and baggy pants.

Taylor being named the sexiest woman alive in her natural beauty sends a strong message to women and girls around the world who are struggling with feeling confident and beautiful: Who you are is beautiful enough.

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LaShawnte Burgess is a freelance writer who focuses on entertainment and news.