updated 04/25/2012 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/25/2012 AT 7:50 AM ET
She’s an entertainment force of nature, 16-time Grammy winner, and beauty and style icon. But Beyoncé is proudest of one title that also happens to be her most recent: mommy to little Blue Ivy Carter.
“I feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt because I’ve given birth,” says PEOPLE’s 2012 World’s Most Beautiful Woman. “I have never felt so connected, never felt like I had such a purpose on this earth.”
The “Crazy in Love” singer, 30, and her husband of four years, Jay-Z, 42, have gone gaga for Blue, born Jan. 7 in New York City. “She’s just the cutest thing,” gushes Beyoncé, who croons one-of-a-kind tunes to her daughter and professes to “love” changing diapers.