Arts & Entertainment | July 19, 2021 12:26 pm

Megan Thee Stallion Is the First Rapper on the Cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

The summer of Megan Thee Stallion continues

Megan Thee Stallion appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated, modeling a nude bikini against a blue, watery background
Megan Thee Stallion is only the second musician to appear on the SI Swim cover
James Macari/ Sports Illustrated

Two years after declaring (and trademarking) the first annual Hot Girl Summer, Megan Thee Stallion is once again reminding us that every summer is Hot Girl Summer when you’re Megan Thee Stallion. Last year, the star took over her second summer in a row by dropping the iconic Cardi B duet “WAP” in August, commanding headlines and dividing discourse for the remainder of the season. This year, Meg is following up her buzzy new single “Thot Shit,” released last month complete with yet another iconic music video, with a history-making appearance on the cover of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

As one of the issue’s three 2021 cover stars, Megan Thee Stallion is the first rapper and only the second musician to grace the iconic cover, following Beyoncé’s 2007 appearance.

“Thee first female rapper on the cover,” the star captioned an Instagram post sharing the cover shot, in which Meg models a nude bikini from her own Fashion Nova swimwear collection. “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!!”

The star’s SI cover follows the premiere of her “Thot Shit” music video earlier this summer, which parodied the various pearl-clutching political leaders and public figures who were, as Meg herself later put it in an interview with GQ, “freaked the hell out” by “WAP” last summer. “She’s the biggest star [right now], so it’s a no-brainer,” a source told Page Six earlier this month of Megan’s forthcoming SI cover.

Fellow cover stars gracing this year’s issue include tennis star Naomi Osaka and model Leyna Bloom, who previously made headlines as the magazine’s first transgender model of color. “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, calling Megan “a magnetic powerhouse taking the world by storm.”

Other models featured in the issue join its three cover stars in what Day called a “powerful group of extraordinary, multi-dimensional women,” including the magazine’s first plus-size Asian model, Rookie Yumi Nu, as well as 57-year-old catwalker Kathy Jacobs, who, at five-foot-two, is both the oldest and shortest first-time model to appear in the magazine.

Meanwhile, Meg’s history-making cover comes as yet more proof that this summer, once again, belongs to Megan Thee Stallion; we’re just living in it.