What a difference a year makes!
After being named Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue's Rookie of the Year in 2011, Kate Upton just landed the magazine's highly coveted 2012 cover (past cover models include Elle Macpherson, Rebecca Romijn, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, and Marisa Miller).
The 19-year-old blonde bombshell, who was born in Michigan and raised in Florida, poses in a teeny-tiny red and brown bikini that barely covers her eye-popping assets. Here, some fun facts about the stunner.
1. She's a natural. In 2008, Upton attended a model casting call and was signed the same day to Elite Model Management.
2. She's gone viral. In early 2011, a video of the curvaceous model doing the "Dougie" dance at a Los Angeles Clippers game was viewed by thousands of fans.
3. She's a pro. Upton has been creating buzz since she was featured in campaigns for Dooney & Burke, Guess and Victoria's Secret.
4. She's athletic. In addition to being totally gorgeous, Upton is an accomplished equestrian who's won five championships.
5. She's an actress. Upton made her movie debut in 2011's Tower Heist with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy and is appearing in the Farrelly brother's new comedy, The Three Stooges, due out this spring.
- Elle Macpherson
- Rebecca Romijn
- Marisa Miller
- Heidi Klum
- Tyra Banks