Odd Enough Kate Upton returns to the cover of this year’s SI swimsuit issue - and she’s topless

SI has been teasing some of this year’s models over the last few months but it saved its biggest and best announcement for last.

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Kate Upton play

Kate Upton

(Sports Illustrated)
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The blonde bombshell last graced the cover in ‘13, but we’re glad she made us wait

There are several annual occasions that men might feel most compelled to mark on their calendars - MLB Opening Day, March Madness Selection Sunday, the day McDonald’s brings back their Shamrock Shakes for the season - but one tradition rises above the rest: The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover reveal.

SI has been teasing some of this year’s models over the last few months - including Chrissy Teigen, Aly Raisman and Simone Biles, and 63-year-old Christie Brinkley - but the magazine saved its biggest and best announcement for last: Blonde bombshell Kate Upton graces the front of this year’s Swimsuit Issue, SI revealed this morning.

Upton was photographed by Yu Tsai in Fiji, and luckily for us, she isn’t just on one cover—she’s on three.

We’re glad to have the 24-year-old Upton back where she rightfully belongs, having top lined the Swimsuit Issue in 2012 and 2013.

“It’s a full circle moment for us,” SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day told the magazine.

“We started Kate in her career, and you know, we watched her grow and become not only this worldwide, superstar phenomenon; she changed the direction of the modeling industry.”

Upton, of course, has also starred in flicks like The Other Woman and can frequently be seen in the stands at Detroit Tigers games, where she cheers on her fiancé, pitcher Justin Verlander. (Last year, Upton hilariously, savagely called out the baseball writers who did Verlander wrong.)

But when SI came calling again, she knew she wanted to be a part of this year’s issue, which celebrates women of all ages and body types.

“Those are the campaigns I want to do and the career I want to have - to inspire women to love themselves,” Upton told SI.

“That’s a balance of working hard and eating healthy, but also enjoying life and having cheat days and for the emphasis to not be on the ideal perfect body. It makes me proud to be asked back.”

This year’s SI Swimsuit Issue is on stands today.

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