Blake Shelton is People's newly crowned Sexiest Man Alive, a title that he's taken with a grain of salt (and a lot of his trademark humor). All jokes aside, Shelton credits his girlfriend, Gwen Stefani, for pushing him to allow himself to accept the honor — which comes as no surprise, as the couple's tight bond started back when the two were confiding in each other over their respective divorces.

"When we found out what each other were going through, this instant bond we created, it's unspoken and it's still there — of, like, this unified front," Shelton explains. "That's what's most important to Gwen, is somebody who has her back and is a best friend. And that's kind of how it started. And it just kept snowballing and snowballing into, you know, what it is now. And it just feels like it gets stronger all the time."

Shelton admits he went first to Stefani upon discovering People's intentions, saying "Can you believe that? I'm not doing that." He relates that Stefani had sage advice: "She goes, 'Listen to me, listen to what I'm saying to you. You are going to regret this for the rest of your life if you don't embrace this opportunity and take this gift they're giving you.

"Just live in the moment!"

Stefani, of course, also added that it would be a prime opportunity to rub Shelton's fellow Voice coach Adam Levine's nose in it, given that Levine was 2013's Sexiest Man Alive.

The official Sexiest Man Alive issue of People Magazine hit newsstands on Nov. 15.

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