“Empire” actress Grace Gealey tops RegalMag.com’s list of beautiful ladies of 2015 (Photo Credit: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP).
15 for 2015: The Most Beautiful Ladies of the Year
No one can please everyone.
Men’s magazines like RegalMag.com have faced criticism for objectifying women, but we instead like to see the fact that we honor the most beautiful ladies of the year (and Regal Queen models) as a way of uplifting our sisters.
If Sports Illustrated will not honor a significant number of beautiful Black ladies, RegalMag.com will.
If Maxim or FHM will not honor our beautiful Black ladies, then RegalMag.com will.
And while the criticism will not cease, RegalMag.com feels confident that honoring beautiful Black ladies will significantly improve the self-image of many little beautiful Black girls who do not regularly see themselves glorified in mainstream media.
So RegalMag.com is proud to present our annual list of the most beautiful ladies. It is our 15 most beautiful ladies of the 2015 calendar year listed from number 15 to number one.
Like every year, our beautiful ladies list has a couple of rules.
No woman can make our beautiful ladies list for two consecutive years.
And beauty is only skin deep.
Therefore, our list of beautiful ladies honors women who have also made a positive contribution to the creative community and the Black community as a whole.
So, enjoy our list and tell us where we went wrong. Also, click the links to learn more about our beautiful ladies of 2015.
Tinashe—Beauty, brains, talent and longevity are all things that Tinashe is blessed with. The singer, songwriter, dancer and former model has been in the entertainment business since she was a toddler model and actress. In 2004, she appeared opposite of Tom Hanks in “The Polar Express” and later had a recurring role as Jake’s (Angus T. Jones) girlfriend on “Two and a Half Men.” The 23-year-old signed a recording contract with RCA Records after the success of her mixtapes, which were recorded in her home studio. Tinashe released her debut album “Aquarius” in 2014 and supported it with a 2015 tour. She also opened up for Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry on their 2015 tours. Her follow-up album “Joyride” will be released in 2016.
Nicki Minaj—Although she may be controversial, there is no denying that rapper/actress Nicki Minaj is fine as the finest wine. The natural beauty continues to make hit songs like “Truffle Butter” featuring Lil Wayne and Drake. And she is becoming a respected actress thanks to upcoming roles like “Barbershop: The Next Cut” opposite fellow rapper/actor Ice Cube. The Trinidad and Tobago born and Brooklyn, N.Y. bred star grew up in a troubled home but found hope through rehab and the church. Always talented, her rhyming skills caught the ear of Lil Wayne who soon signed her to his Young Money Entertainment record label. According to imdb.com, “To date, Nicki has released three platinum selling studio albums, ‘Pink Friday,’ ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ and ‘The Pinkprint.’”
Aja Naomi King—Aja Naomi King is so gorgeous she might be able to get away with murder on looks alone. Nevertheless, her talents match her physical appearance as is apparent on the popular ABC late night soap opera “How to Get Away with Murder.” Despite the success of the Shonda Rhimes produced show, King is definitely not an overnight sensation. She won a Los Angeles Film Festival Award for her role in the 2013 independent film “Four” starring Wendell Pierce (“The Wire”). She also had guest roles on CBS shows “Blue Bloods” and “Person of Interest” and the CW show “Emily Owens, M.D.” In 2014, she had a recurring role on ABC’s “Black Box” but has taken center stage on Thursdays at 9 P.M CST “murdering” her role as law student Michaela Pratt.
Alicia Keys—The beautiful and multi-talented singer/songwriter/actress Alicia Keys recently appeared on episodes of “Empire,” adding to her ever-growing empire as a thespian. To accompany her appearance on the FOX drama, she dropped the single “Powerful” featuring Jussie Smollet on the season two “Empire” soundtrack, a song that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X would have been proud of. Also in 2015, she released the film “Alicia Keys Live on the Circle Line” and appeared in “Jem and the Holograms.” She is currently working on her sixth studio album with Pharrell Williams and has hinted at a possible duet album with neo soul star Maxwell. The mother of two also has a children’s book series entitled “The Journals of Mama Mae and LeeLee.”
Maria Taylor—There is something extremely beautiful about a woman that loves sports. That makes SEC Network college analyst and reporter Maria Taylor extra beautiful. Taylor is not just a lover of sports, she’s a former athlete herself, starring on the volleyball and basketball team at University of Georgia (UGA). She also has a Master of Business Administration from UGA. The Alpharetta, Ga. native made her SEC Network debut in 2014. She currently serves as a reporter opposite Jesse Palmer and Brent Musburger for SEC football contests. ESPNMediaZone.com reports that she will also cover volleyball and women’s basketball for ESPN’s SEC brand.
Tracey Edmonds—Sunday night, Black America celebrated the genius of musical icon Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds at the annual Soul Train Awards. However, RegalMag.com would like to show the same amount of love for a woman that worked side-by-side with him to build a musical empire, his ex-wife Tracey Edmonds. The beautiful Ms. Edmonds did not rest on the laurels of her former husband. She built her own empire with record labels, television networks and mainstream TV shows like “Extra.” She is the CEO of Edmonds Entertainment, the COO of Our Stories Films and in 2013 she founded the inspirational Alright TV for YouTube. The former model is also the executive producer for her boyfriend Deion Sanders’ reality show on OWN. In 2015, she also executive produced the TV movie, “With This Ring.”
Kat Graham—Foreign ladies always have had a certain sexiness about them, and actress Kat Graham from Geneva, Switzerland is no exception. “The Vampire Diaries” star is definitely one of the most beautiful ladies of any year. Graham has been making a name for herself since 2009 on “The Vampire Diaries” but continues to extend her brand with movie roles in films like “Addicted,” “Stalker” and the short film “Muse.” Her background is just as unique as her look. The daughter of a Liberian father and Jewish mother speaks French, Portuguese, Hebrew and Spanish. Her father is the godfather of two of Quincy Jones’ children according to imdb.com. She also has a calling beyond Hollywood giving time and money to many charities like UNICEF and volunteering in such places as war-torn Syria.
Naomi Campbell—It is sometimes easy to forget how beautiful former supermodel Naomi Campbell really is because of her controversial behavior in past years. But her return to acting in the Fox hit “Empire” reminds us how beautiful and talented she really is. The London native also starred in a couple of episodes of the TV series “American Horror Stories.” Campbell is also gifted behind the camera, producing such shows as “The Face” and “The Face Australia.” The year 2016 is shaping up to be a big year for Campbell as well as she will appear in the documentaries “Jinx! Buy Me a Coke,” “Peter Marino: Beauty and Power” and an untitled Carlyle documentary.
Serayah—“Empire” made a lot of young talent famous and Serayah is no different. While many still only know her by her character name Tiana, they definitely know her beauty and talent as an actress and a singer. In 2015, she appeared in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video. The two even performed the song “Style” together on the Chicago stop of Swift’s 1989 World Tour. Serayah appeared in the 2014 short “Chocolatto is Back!” Next year we will see more of Serayah on the screen in “Lucky Girl” and “The Blood Rage.”
Marilyn Mosby—Leadership is always attractive and Baltimore could not ask for a better leader than state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby, especially in the midst of the Freddie Gray death. Although she endured vitriol from law enforcement officials, Mosby stood her ground and did what few have done in recent memory, bring charges against police officers for the death of an unarmed Black man. After barely serving 100 days in office, the 35-year-old became a national figure in the fight against police brutality. According to Vogue.com, “Selma” director Ava Duvernay was so impressed with Mosby’s strength that she vowed to produce a documentary on the Tuskegee University and Boston College Law School grad. Along with her husband Nick, she has two daughters, Nylyn, 6, and Aniyah, 4.
Tessa Thompson—Tessa Thompson is one beautiful girl, not just amongst “colored girls.” The star of Tyler Perry’s movie adaptation “For Colored Girls” continues to spread her wings on the big screen. Everyone knows she is one of the most beautiful ladies in Hollywood, but her choices in movie roles show a consciousness that makes her even more impressive. After making a name for herself with Perry, Thompson has gone one to star in “Selma,” “Dear White People” and is now in theaters everywhere with “Creed.” The Los Angeles native got discovered walking down Hollywood Boulevard with her father, musician Marc Anthony Thompson of the New York-based band Chocolate Genius. She is a musician just like her father, performing with the band Caught a Ghost with Jesse Nolan. The band just recorded their first album according to imdb.com. Thompson has grand plans for 2016 also with roles in “Salt Water,” “War on Everyone” and the TV series “Westworld” planned.
Gabrielle Union—When it comes to the most beautiful ladies list, Gabrielle Union is at a disadvantage because she should be listed every year. Since that goes against Regal rules, Union has to settle for being on the most beautiful ladies list every other year. “Mrs. Wade” (she is married to Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade) has to be the “baddest” woman to ever come out of Omaha, Neb. The year 2014 was great for Union with “Top Five,” “Think Like a Man Too” and “Being Mary Jane.” However, 2015 was even greater as her role as Mary Jane Paul has become iconic in the Black community. Any woman that can get men to religiously watch a late night soap has to be the “baddest.” Union has always had beauty and brains and her role in the 2016 Nat Turner biopic “The Birth of a Nation” is further evidence that she wants to use her platform to advance her community. Next year she will also star in “Sleepless Night,” “A Meyers Christmas” and will lend her voice to the TV series “The Lion Guard.”
Angela Bassett—Why is it that Angela Bassett is 57-years-old and still finer than most of the beautiful ladies in Hollywood? True beauty must truly age like a fine wine and in Bassett’s case she must be the Domaine de la Romanee. To close out the 2015 calendar year Bassett gives a heart-wrenching performance in Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” to go along with appearances in “Survivor,” “Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle” and the TV series “BoJack Horseman.” According to imdb.com, she has already filmed six episodes of the mini-series “Close to the Enemy” and “London Has Fallen” for 2016. Bassett is the only person that can challenge the legendary Tina Turner in the legs department and she continues to challenge her younger counterparts on our beautiful ladies list.
Cari Champion—ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Cari Champion is a champion in more ways than one. She held her own for years opposite Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless on “First Take” challenging people’s perspective on gender and domestic violence. And she rose to the top of a male and White dominated sports media industry to anchor ESPN’s flagship program “SportsCenter.” The veteran journalist always knew her worth and just being the moderator of a debate show as opposed to an equal debater was not good enough for Champion. She knew she could do more and is now doing more with “SportsCenter.” Her drive is just as beautiful as her physical beauty and an inspiration for aspiring journalists of all backgrounds.
Grace Gealey—When Luscious (Terrence Howard) dropped Anika and Hakeem’s (Bryshere Y. Gray) relationship with her on “Empire” fizzled out, you were worried you would not see her beautiful face on the hit show anymore, weren’t you? Lee Daniels is nobody’s fool. He knows to give the people what they want and most guys want to look at Grace Gealey on screen every week. The Caymanian actress moved to the United States to pursue a degree in Theater Arts at University of South Florida. She furthered her studies with a Masters degree in acting from University of California at Irvine. Before “Empire,” Gealey paid her dues on the theater circuit and in national commercials. The Fox phenomenon is her first TV acting gig but it definitely will not be her last. But sorry fellas, she is engaged to “Empire” co-star Trai Byers (Andre Lyon).