Rihanna’s mix of beauty, talent and style have impressed the folks at Esquire enough to name the singer 2011′s sexiest woman alive in its November issue. While the photos taken by Russell James have her stripped down in nothing by green leaves, the accompanying article has Rihanna emotionally stripped as she talks about her ex Chris Brown.

“It was too much anger,” she told Esquire, referencing the aftermath of the scandal. “It’s incredible to see how he pulled out the way he did. Even when the world seemed like it was against him, you know?”

In a change of heart that makes it seem like the Chris Brown trial and publicity never happened, Rihanna is able to cheer Brown on in his endeavors. “I really like the music he’s putting out,” she said. “I’m a fan of his stuff. I’ve always been a fan.”

This is the kind of inner beauty (although her toned body was also a factor) that appealed to Esquire. The star, however, barely acknowledges it. “At the end of a concert, I don’t feel like I’ve been this sexy thing. Really, I don’t even think about it.”

By landing this title, Rihanna follows in the footsteps of Minka Kelly, Kate Beckinsale and Halle Berry, who were all previous winners of the award.

[PopCrush]