Thursday, May 30, 2024

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Kate Upton makes sizzling comeback for 60th anniversary issue

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Kate Upton is red hot on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s 2024 issue. 

The model joins Gayle King, as well as Chrissy Teigen and Hunter McGrady as the magazine’s newest cover models.

Sports Illustrated, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, is launching seven covers, which will hit newsstands on May 17. 

“It’s such a huge honor,” Upton told People magazine ahead of the announcement. “It really speaks to really where fashion is going and the message that [Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s editor-in-chief] MJ Day wants to put out — women supporting women, showing different body types and having women speak for different things they believe in.”

Kate Upton is making a sizzling comeback in this year’s SI Swimsuit issue. (Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images)

“Every year I feel more and more confident in who I am and what I bring to the table,” McGrady told Fox News Digital ahead of the cover unveiling. “And when I first shot for Sports Illustrated in 2016, I was so young. I had no idea of the opportunities it was going to bring me and the platform it was going to give. And I’ve grown as a person ever since then.”

Kate Upton wearing a red and pink bikini for the SI Swimsuit cover

Kate Upton is wearing a two-piece by Normaillot. (Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated )

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Hunter McGrady wearing a one-piece for SI Swimsuit

Hunter McGrady is wearing a swimsuit by JMP The Label and a cover-up by ANTONINIAS. (Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated )

“It’s so much bigger than me,” she gushed. “It’s so much bigger than the beautiful photos — that’s like the cherry on top. The message for me is inclusivity. That’s what makes it so beautiful. SI has brought forth that inclusivity message and celebrates women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. They’re one of the very few who are doing it, and doing it in such a beautiful way.”

Gayle King modeling a one-piece for SI Swimsuit

Gayle King is wearing a swimsuit and cover-up by EVARAE. (Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated )

To commemorate its milestone birthday, the outlet is publishing a special collectible trilogy of covers from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s 60th Anniversary Legends shoot. 

It highlights the foursome, along with Brenna Huckaby, Brooklyn Decker, Brooks Nader, Camille Kostek, Christie Brinkley, Danielle Herrington, Hailey Clauson, Halima Aden, Jasmine Sanders, Kate Love, Leyna Bloom, Lily Aldridge, Martha Stewart, Maye Musk, Megan Rapinoe, Molly Sims, Nina Agdal, Paige Spiranac, Paulina Porizkova, Roshumba Williams, Sue Bird, Tyra Banks and Winnie Harlow. 

Chrissy Teigen wearing an orange one piece for SI Swimsuit

Chrissy Teigen is wearing a swimsuit by Saint Laurent, as well as earrings and a necklace by Jacquie Aiche. (Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated )

All seven covers were photographed by renowned SI Swimsuit photographer Yu Tsai.

“Over the past 60 years we have shattered stereotypes, embraced diversity, and championed inclusivity,” Day said in a statement sent to Fox News Digital. “With each passing year, we have challenged ourselves to push boundaries and redefine what it means to be Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. While this year’s issue is a tribute to the recent past, it’s also a reminder of the work we must continue to do. We must remind women to challenge the status quo, to celebrate strength and confidence, and to inspire those around us to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their passions fearlessly.” 

A group of SI Swimsuit models posing together for the 60th anniversary issue

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is celebrating its 60th anniversary. (Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated )

“SI Swimsuit has transcended its origins,” Day shared. “It began as a mere diversion in the winter months when the sports calendar was relatively empty. Now it’s a global symbol of empowerment, diversity and positivity. We’ve done our best to honor women of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds. We’ve strived to reshape societal norms and redefine the standards of beauty. This year’s issue does just that.” 

A group of SI Swimsuit models posing together for the 60th anniversary issue

SI Swimsuit is releasing seven covers for its 60th anniversary. (Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated )

“In the past, we’d have one cover model representing the supposed epitome of beauty at the time,” Day continued. “But today there are seven covers featuring 27 women, all of whom have helped shape a world in which they feel more represented and more empowered than ever before. 

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A group of models posing together for the SI Swimsuit issue

The 2024 issue of SI Swimsuit hits newsstands on May 17. (Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated )

“There’s Kate Upton, whose first cover served as a catalyst for the evolution of the brand. There’s Chrissy Teigen, who represents the new generation of model moguls. There’s Hunter McGrady, whose power and advocacy continue to inspire. And there’s Gayle King, a first-timer who, like her co-cover models, not so gently reminds us that women are limitless and control their destinies. For the three remaining covers, we assembled some of our most influential alumni together for one legendary photo shoot representing where we are right now — and a hope for the future.”

Kate Upton modeling a blue bikini

Kate Upton made her SI Swimsuit debut in 2011. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Beach Bunny)

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Upton made her SI Swimsuit debut in 2011 and was crowned Rookie of the Year that year. The 31-year-old mom had her first solo cover in 2012 and had the cover again the following year. In 2014, she appeared on the flip cover and then in 2017, she starred on the cover once more.

Chrissy Teigen and two other models holding their SI Swimsuit issues

From left: Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal, and Lily Aldridge reveal their cover for SI Swimsuit, circa 2014.  (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

Teigen became Rookie of the Year in 2010. The 38-year-old mom of four also appeared on the 2014 cover alongside Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge.

Hunter McGrady wearing a low cut red dress

Hunter McGrady welcomed her second child before posing for the 2024 cover. (Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

McGrady made a splash in the SI Swimsuit issue in 2017. The 31-year-old mom of two became known as the outlet’s “curviest model ever.” McGrady told People magazine she was nearly nine months postpartum after welcoming her second child when she was photographed for the latest issue.

Gayle King wearing a lime green dress

Gayle King attends The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2024, in New York City. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

King, who turns 70 this year, told People magazine she thought she was “being punked” when Day asked her to appear in this year’s issue.

“It wasn’t something I dreamed about,” King told the outlet. “But it was one of the highlights of all the things I’ve done because I never thought this would be possible.”

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The original swimsuit issue ran in 1964. It has since been a launching pad for models like McGrady, as well as Brinkley, Kathy Ireland, Elle Macpherson and Ashley Graham.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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