Lupita Nyong'o
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Lupita Nyong’o!

It’s hard to believe that not so long ago Nyong’o was a relatively unknown star, but thanks to her Oscar-winning turn as Patsy in 12 Years a Slave, she’s become one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. Over the past year, we’ve seen the sartorially-savvy star blossom before us both on and off the red carpet, so it comes as no surprise that People crowned her this year’s Most Beautiful.

It was exciting and just a major, major compliment,” Nyong’o tells People about gracing this year’s cover. “I was happy for all the girls who would see me on [it] and feel a little more seen.”

This marks Nyong’o’s first appearance in the Most Beautiful issue, but we have a feeling it won’t be her last. To read more of Nyong’o’s cover story, head to over to people.com now.

Plus, want even more of this year’s Most Beautiful? Check out People‘s special galleries below.

• From Child Stars to Grownup Beauties
• People’s Most Beautiful Cover Stars Then and Now
• The Most Beautiful Stars at Every Age