Megan Thee Stallion Is First Rapper to Cover Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Tennis star Naomi Osaka and SI’s first transgender cover model rounded out a trio of 2021 Swim covers.

Megan Thee Stallion Promo
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Megan Thee Stallion is the most famous face featured on three new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition covers, marking the first time that a rapper has headlined the annual bikini-focused issue.  

The “Hot Girl Summer” songstress and 2021 Maxim Hot 100 beauty, who’s only the second musical artist to headline SI Swim after Beyonce in 2007, celebrated her “dream come true” on Instagram.

“REAL SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT EDITION COVER MODEL SH*T!!!” she wrote. ” I want to thank all the strong women in my life who inspired me to love my body and live my best hot girl life. It means the world to me to be on this cover DREAM COME TRUE!!”

While the 2020 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue featured three former Maxim cover models—Olivia Culpo, Jasmine Sanders, and Kate Bock—the mag is headed in a notably new direction centered around a new “Opening Eyes, Speaking Truths, and Changing Minds” slogan. 

Model/actress Leyna Bloom also landed a cover, becoming SI Swim’s first transgender person to do so.

“@LeynaBloom is making it known that she has ARRIVED. We’re giving tens… tens… tens… across the board for her stunning cover,” the SI Swim Instagram account announced.  

Bloom responded, “Thank you for changing my life and so many others. This is a moment in our time.”

Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, who will represent her home country at the Tokyo Olympics, rounded out the the trio of covers. 

“From hitting 100 mph serves to posing for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, @NaomiOsaka can DO. IT. ALL” Osaka’s cover caption read. “A determined athlete, Naomi has her sights set on gold at the upcoming games in Tokyo and we’re cheering her on every step of the way.”

“We have three inherently different cover models that come together to tell a story rooted in female empowerment, setting a reminder that beauty comes in many forms,” SI Swim’s editor-in-chief, MJ Day, said in a statement, per the New York Post

“Our cover stars alongside the other incredible women featured in the issue, represent some of the most powerful voices of today.”