Ciara Sizzles on SI Swimsuit Cover: 'Something She's Always Wanted,' Husband Russell Wilson Says

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Ciara's latest (1, 2) step toward icon status? Landing the 2022 cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.

The superstar performer joins mogul Kim Kardashian, model and activist Maye Musk and modeling industry rising star Yumi Nu as part of this year's cover class.

For her shoot, Ciara, 36, traveled to Barbados to be photographed by Ben Watts. On the cover, she wades in crystal blue water wearing a sexy leopard print LaQuan Smith bustier-style one-piece and straw hat.

"The journey we've been on—to break out of the mold the world put us in—may sound familiar. It's certainly familiar to the women we've chosen to be our cover models: Maye, Ciara, Yumi, Kim," MJ Day, editor in chief of SI Swimsuit, said in a statement. "Ciara has seen enormous success as a performer while simultaneously focusing on her passion for philanthropy and service."

RELATED: All About Ciara's Luminescent Met Gala 2022 Beauty Look, Straight from Her Pros

Ciara's husband, Russell Wilson, penned a sweet tribute to his wife as part of this year's cover story, opening up about how she is a beacon of positivity.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover

Ben watts/Sports Illustrated

"That's what my wife does. She inspires people because she connects with them. She tilts rooms when she walks into them; it really seems like all the furniture just slides her way," the 33-year-old NFL star wrote. "Maybe it's an interaction with a fan, where she'll suggest they take a selfie together before the fan can even ask. Or it might be a far more serious situation. I remember our first visit to Seattle Children's Hospital, when a mother of a boy who was ill held on to her for a good five minutes without letting go. That's the kind of woman Ciara is — a ray of light."

The couple, who have been married since 2016, are parents to 19-month-old son Win Harrison, daughter Sienna Princess, 4, as well as son Future Zahir, 7, whom Ciara shares with ex Future.

RELATED: Russell Wilson Reveals the Line That Helped Him Land a Date with Wife Ciara

Wilson, who was introduced as the new quarterback of the Denver Broncos in March, added that an SI Swimsuit cover marks a bucket list moment for his wife.

"As you can probably tell, I'm incredibly proud of my wife. And now that she's on the cover of SI Swimsuit, that's one more thing for me to take pride in," he shared. "I know it's something she's always wanted. And I know she'll use the visibility that comes with being on the cover to inspire even more people—not only as a mother and the beautiful angel and the powerful woman that she is.

RELATED: Ciara and Kids Support Russell Wilson as He's Introduced as New Denver Broncos Quarterback

On her cover girl dreams coming true, the "Level Up" singer told SI, "I've always dreamt of being on this cover, ever since I was really young. Especially as an entertainer. It's always been pretty significant in the entertainment space. So it's a big dream come true for me. And it was a special day when I got the call."

The 2022 issue continues to build on SI Swimsuit's platform of diversity and empowerment, featuring 28 beautiful women including WNBA stars Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart, newcomers Duckie Thot, Kamie Crawford and Olivia Ponton as well as former cover models Camille Kostek, Leyna Bloom and Kate Bock.

"We all deserve the chance to evolve. So in this issue, we encourage readers to see these models as we see them: multifaceted, multitalented — and sexy while they're at it," Day said in a statement. "The world may label them one way, but we want to focus our lens on all the ways they see themselves and how they own who they are. No matter your age, whether you're a new mom, partner, sister, entertainer, athlete, entrepreneur, advocate, student, mentor, role model, leader or dreamer—or all of the above—we want to celebrate these women, their evolution and the many dimensions of who they are."

The 2022 Issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is available on newsstands May 19.

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