The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is a big deal in the States, but not so much here, where you can’t walk into a newsagents without seeing Jade Goody looking contrite.
Usually, the cover star is leaked way in advance, so it came as some surprise for teenage boys and journos alike when a star as high-profile as Beyoncé appeared on the front-flap without warning.
It seems as though SI wants to start introducing an element of shock to the annual event, swearing Knowles to secrecy when she completed the shoot way back in November. "It was hard because I was so excited! You grow up seeing those issues and they're so amazing, it's crazy that I was able to be on the cover. It's amazing for me,” she said. “They called and they said they were doing a music issue and they said they didn't know if I would be willing to wear the swimsuits. I said I would for Sports Illustrated because it's so classy.”
Knowles is certainly pleased with them. “They're iconic photographs, so I'm very happy.”