Beyoncé Knowles has joined the ranks of Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, and Jennifer Lopez, after People named the Houston-born star the World’s Most Beautiful Woman of 2012.

Beyoncé still has her baby glow months after daughter Blue Ivy Carter was born. “I feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt because I’ve given birth. I have never felt so connected, never felt like I had such a sense of purpose on this earth,” she said in an interview with People on the set of her photo shoot for the issue. Over the years, Beyoncé has made nine other appearances in People‘s “Most Beautiful” issue, but this the first time she has won the top slot.

Ever gracious, Beyoncé also had some kind words for her mother: “I know that women are like fine wine, and they get better with age. She’s just such a glamorous, sophisticated, classy, gentle, beautiful woman.” 

This is just another jewel in the crown for Beyoncé, who’s had an exceptionally good year. In the months before her daughter was born she released 4 (her fourth consecutive number-one album), received two Grammy nominations, and was ranked fourth on Forbes‘ 2011 Top Earning Women in Music list. Now, she’s back to her pre-pregnancy weight and will hit the ground running with three live performances on Memorial Day weekend. She has also started working on two new albums, the Los Angeles Times reported in February.
Such an intense career comes from someone with a personality that is anything but. “Being named the World’s Most Beautiful Woman is really hard to say. It’s overwhelming. It makes me feel very crunchy—and that means embarrassed,” she said with a laugh in the on-camera interview. From clicking her heels as she arrives (by helicopter) on the set to bouncing around in front of the camera, the artist does anything but take herself too seriously (People TV provides blooper reel if you need more proof). “When do I feel most beautiful? When I feel loved, when I feel secure, when I feel confident,” she said. 

The only other Texan to ever win a similar top honor from People is Matthew McConaughey, who the magazine named Sexiest Man Alive in 2005. Lindale’s Miranda Lambert will also appear in this year’s “Most Beautiful” issue, which hits newsstands this Friday, alongside the likes of Sofia Vergara, Charlize Theron, and Kate Middleton.