PEOPLE has picked its world's most beautiful woman for 2012, and Beyonce Knowles is topping the list. Featured on the special double issue cover of the magazine in a white dress and turqouise jewelry, the 16-time Grammy winner claims, "I feel more beautiful than I've ever felt because I've given birth."
The songstress wife of Jay-Z elaborated, "I have never felt so connected, never felt like I had such a sense of purpose on this earth." Having welcomed daughter Blue Ivy Carter on January 7, she gushed, "The best thing about having a daughter is having a true legacy. The word 'love' means something completely different now."
While this is not the first time Beyonce made it into the list, PEOPLE's editor Janet Mock noted on her Twitter account that it's the "first time in 9 years that a black woman lands this coveted cover." Last year, the title of Most Beautiful Woman went to a Latina with the crowning of "American Idol" judge Jennifer Lopez.
Landing on the runner-up spot this year was Sofia Vergara. The "Modern Family" star insisted that she's "not ashamed" of being considered a bombshell because she believes "it has opened doors" for her. She added with a laugh, "I am on these lists for 'best ass' or 'most beautiful' with women like Mila Kunis, who's, like, 20 years old. I have a son that age!"
Rounding up the top 10 were "Snow White and the Huntsman" star Charlize Theron, "Mirror Mirror" lead Lily Collins, "Revenge" actress Madeleine Stowe, "Mad Men" beauty Christina Hendricks, Oscar nominee Michelle Williams, Robin Thicke's wife Paula Patton, country crooner Miranda Lambert and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.