Megan Thee Stallion is making history as the first rapper to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
“When I got the call that they wanted me on the cover, I was like, ‘Wha -- ? Me?’” the three-time Grammy Award winner told People. “And to be the first female rapper on the swim cover makes it extra special. It feels amazing!”
The Texas musician will be one of three separate stars to appear on the cover of the sports magazine, CNN reported. The others are tennis star Naomi Osaki and model Leyna Bloom, who became the first Black transgender woman to appear in the annual issue.
Tyra Banks was the first Black model to appear on the swimsuit issue cover in 1997.
“I was the little girl looking at the cover of Sports Illustrated saying, ‘One day this is going to be me.’ And I manifested it,” Megan Thee Stallion told Sports Illustrated in her cover interview.
The photoshoot took place in Hollywood, Florida, Sports Illustrated reported.
“I had been training for months and I was super prepared. I got into the shoot right away,” she told People. “(Photographer] James [Macari] said he usually doesn’t get into the water until the fourth or fifth set-up, but we were both in the ocean from the start.
“The day was perfect and I had a blast.”
MJ Day, editor-in-chief for the swimsuit issue, told Billboard that picking Megan Thee Stallion for the magazine’s cover ties in with the brand’s mission to champion women, their voices and their identities.
“In terms of the whole package of Megan Thee Stallion, it’s not just Meg the rapper. It’s not just Meg the advocate. It’s not just Meg the academic,” Day told Billboard. “She’s so passionate, she’s so professional, she’s so driven, and she’s so kind and wonderful and empowering and uplifting ... She is so symbolic of everything I hope other women can tap into for themselves. I don’t think the world has given her the respect that she deserves for all of the progress she has helped make, and has helped liberate women with, and that’s very synonymous with how I feel like this brand is also of service to people.”
The 2021 issue of the magazine, which launched online on Monday, also features pop and R&B singer Tinashe and Latin pop star Anitta, Billboard reported. The trio will perform at the official launch event for the magazine on Friday and Saturday in Hollywood, Florida.
“It definitely was a dream for me to be on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit,” Megan Thee Stallion told CNN via email. “And to be the first female rapper? Who else would they pick? I am just happy they chose the Hot Girl Coach!”
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