Kate Upton had landed the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2012 swimsuit issue, essentially cementing her place as one of the world's most famous models. Upton, 19 - who has enjoyed a phenomenal rise to fame in recent years - was unveiled as this year's cover girl at an event in New York City on Monday (February 13, 2012), according to the New York Daily News.
The teenager made her swimsuit-issue debut in last year's magazine, when fans voted her 'Rookie of the Year'. She began her modelling career after being discovered at a casting call in Miami, when just 15-years-old. She signed a contract on the spot, and moved to New York City shortly afterwards. Her curvaceous figure instantly made her a hit with readers of swimwear magazines, and Upton became a staple in Victoria's Secret catalogues. During a recent interview with AskMen.com, Kate said, "If you have a curvy figure, you're automatically going to get more bathing suits and lingerie work.Because I started in Miami, I was always comfortable in that". Off the runway, the model became an internet sensation in April 2011, when she was filmed dancing to California Swag District's hit song 'The Dougie' at a Los Angeles Clippers game. Filmed by one of her friends, Upton is seen demonstrating a well-remembered dance-routine while bursting into fits of laughter. The YouTube video went viral and has since been watched by over one-million users. The 19-year-old has often spoken of her desire to follow fellow models such as Brooklyn Decker onto the big screen, and she finally made her movie debut in the 2011 comedy caper 'Tower Heist', alongside Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. During an interview with Esquire - which named her 'The Woman of Summer 2011' - Upton said she doesn't plan to be modelling in swimsuits forever, saying, "If I get pegged as a bikini girl, that's fine, and that can still translate into acting or other areas.But, no, I don't want to be doing bikini shoots my whole life".
As expected, the 19-year-old has seen the media spotlight thrown onto her private life, with rumors of a romance with New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez emerging. In December 2011, the New York Post ran a story suggesting Sanchez had been paying "frequent late-night visits" to Upton's Flatiron apartment, with one source saying, "They never come in together. He's always five steps after her".