The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has been a mainstay for years and although the anticipation isn’t what it used to be, it has presented a historic cover this year with a popular rapper appearing on the cover for the very first time!
With the latest release of Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue, the publication has made history by featuring Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, also known as Megan Thee Stallion as the first rapper to ever grace the cover of the annual issue.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor-in-chief MJ Day said, “Megan Thee Stallion doesn’t stay in one lane. In fact, she encourages everyone to be in multiple, and this is what we love about her. She captured the world’s attention with her music and style, but what caught our attention was her unfiltered approach to the way she makes you think. She uses her platform to push boundaries, dissect societal norms and encourage humans to think about the backward way our society continues to operate. Megan is a vessel for change, and we are honored to have her on our 2021 cover.”
— Normani (@Normani) July 19, 2021
Megan Thee Stallion wasn’t the only cover subject for this year’s swimsuit issue. Tennis professional Naomi Osaka also graces the cover for this year’s version. The 23-year-old, returning from a mental health break, will be at The Tokyo Olympics to represent Japan.
“What drew us to Naomi was her passion, strength and power geared toward consistently breaking barriers when it comes to equality, social justice and mental health. She is wholeheartedly dedicated to achieving the impossible and has succeeded time and again. We are so honored to have one of the fiercest female trailblazers in history as one of our 2021 covers,” says Day.
The third cover model, Leyna Bloom is the first transgender to appear on this historic Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover.