Kate Upton has landed

Sports Illustrated'

s Swimsuit edition cover for the third time.

The 24-year-old beauty was announced as the cover star of the magazine's annual Swimsuit edition on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday night and Kate's image was subsequently projected onto the Empire State Building in New York City.

And in recognition of the fact it is Kate's third time on the cover, Sports Illustrated has decided to publish three different versions of the magazine, each with a different photograph of the curvaceous star.

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Speaking on the US chat show, Kate admitted the magazine only confirmed she was set to feature on the all-important front cover on Monday (13.02.17).

She explained: "They're very difficult to read they totally ghost you."

And although she was sworn to secrecy by the publishers, Kate - who is engaged to professional baseball player Justin Verlander - admitted to telling the news to some of her closest friends and family.

She quipped: "I would say don't tell me secrets."

In perhaps the most eye-catching of the three photographs set to adorn the front cover, Kate is pictured wearing a bikini made from rope and she is covering her ample bust with her arms.

She joked: "I'm pretty sure it's Sports Illustrated Nude Magazine."

Meanwhile, MJ Day, the magazine's editor, revealed Kate looked so good during her photoshoot it was impossible to just select one image.


She explained: "We didn't start off with the idea of three covers, regardless of who was on the cover but when Kate was actually shooting, we were trying so many different looks on her and each photo was coming back just as great as the next.

"It's a full circle moment for us. We started Kate in her career, and you know, we watched her grow and become not only this worldwide, superstar phenomenon; she changed the direction of the modelling industry. Kate Upton was really this trailblazer that led the way for the Ashley Grahams of the world and everything you're seeing happen that's different in fashion right now."

Model Kate Upton and professional baseball player Justin Verlander. Photo / Getty
Model Kate Upton and professional baseball player Justin Verlander. Photo / Getty

Kate first appeared in the magazine in 2011, when she was named Rookie of the Year, and she subsequently secured back-to-back covers in 2012 and 2013, thereby establishing her as a household name and one of the most recognisable women in the world.

And while she is still best-known for her modelling work, Kate has also branched out into acting, having appeared in Tower Heist in 2011 and The Other Woman in 2014.

Model Kate Upton arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Photo / Getty
Model Kate Upton arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Photo / Getty