Last year, country singer and The US Voice judge Blake Shelton took the title.
Only two other non-white men - African-American star Denzel Washington in 1996 and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, whose mother is Samoan and whose father is black Canadian, in 2016 - have won the title since People started the feature in 1985.
"With Idris' smooth British accent, the salt-and-pepper beard, to his well-built 6" 3 frame, to that million dollar smile, that he was given the title is no mystery to anyone - except for the 46-year-old actor himself.
He explained: 'I was like, "Come on, no way". Really?' I looked in the mirror, I checked myself out.
'Life isn't about thinking about what you should have done, ' explained Idris. I was like, "Yeah, you are kind of sexy today".
"I'm honoured & thankful", Elba wrote on Instagram after the announcement, before directing fans attention to tomorrow's elections.
"I was very tall and skinny". "But what's even more important is your vote in the midterm elections".
Elba, who recently directed the film "Yardie", also told the magazine that as a kid he "got picked on a little bit", but when he got older and grew a mustache he was the "coolest kid on the block". "Your vote can make a difference!"
When he's not being one of Hollywood's hottest actors, Elba might be deejaying in Ibiza, kickboxing in Thailand, or designing his own clothing line, not to mention planning his wedding to his fiancée Sabrina Dhowre, 29, a model, to whom he proposed in February.
Elba has a 16-year-old daughter, Isan, and a 4-year-old son, Winston, from previous relationships as he cites being able to witness their births as 'the biggest and best thing ever'. "Grew a mustache, had some muscles, bonkers." he told People magazine.