These Are the Richest Women to Ever Appear on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover

The annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is a sexy staple that has launched the career of many a successful model. Most of the women who have scored the coveted spot on the cover are now worth some serious dough, thanks to modeling, acting, and other ventures.

Here we’ll look at the richest women ever to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. See who is considered America’s first supermodel (No. 10), who insured her legs for millions (No. 4), and who is one of the hottest recording artists of today (No. 1).

15. Paulina Porizkova

Paulina Porizkova and Alec Mazo look upset after their dance.

Paulina Porizkova on Dancing with the Stars | ABC

  • Net worth: $10 million

Born in the Czech Republic, Paulina Porizkova started modeling in the early 1980s and soon became one of the most popular supermodels in Europe and the U.S. She’s appeared on the covers of Glamour, Vogue, and Elle.

Porizkova also posed for Sports Illustrated multiple times in the 1980s and 1990s and again in the 2018 “In Her Own Words” shoot at age 52. She was the second woman (after Christie Brinkley) to be featured on consecutive covers two years in a row.

Next: A model who wore body paint

14. Marisa Miller

Left: Marisa Miller’s bright smilie and gorgeous blonde locks. | Sports Illustrated, Right: Marisa spending time with her children. | Marisa Miller via Instagram

  • Net worth: $10 million

At just 16 years of age, Marisa Miller (now 39) got her first modeling opportunity after she was spotted walking through a café with her mother in 1994. She went on to pose for Vogue photographer Mario Testino, Victoria’s Secret, GQ, Maxim, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Elle, and Vanity Fair.

And you guessed it — she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In fact, she appeared in the magazine’s swimsuit issue consistently from 2002 to 2008. In one of her more famous shoots, she wore nothing but body paint.

Next: The Czech Chick

13. Petra Nemcova

Petra Nemcova appeared in the SI swimsuit issue from 2003 to 2006. by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

  • Net worth: $13 million

Czech model Petra Nemcova, 38, has earned her net worth as a model, author, and philanthropist. Often referred to as the “Czech Chick,” she began modeling at the age of 15 and has posed for beauty and luxury brands like Clarins, Max Factor, Bulgari, and Cartier.

Nemcova has also appeared on the covers of Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and the 2003 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue — from a shoot in Barbados. She also appeared inside the magazine from 2002 through 2006.

Next: One of the most famous faces in the world

12. Kate Upton

Kate Upton

Upton is one of the most famous models in the world. | Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

  • Net worth: $20 million

By the time she first appeared on Sports Illustrated in 2011, Kate Upton had already won competitive horseback riding championships and been signed by modeling agencies in Miami and New York. She also modeled for Victoria’s Secret, Dooney & Bourke, and Beach Bunny before appearing again on Sports Illustrated in 2017.

Thanks to her modeling, Upton, 25, is now one of the most famous faces in the world. She has also tried her hand at acting, playing roles in The Layover (2017) and The Other Woman (2014).

Next: She drove a convertible in the ocean.

11. Carolyn Murphy

Caroline Murphy and designer Michael Kors, 2017.| Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

  • Net worth: $20 million

Florida native Carolyn Murphy, 43, rose to stardom as the face of Estee Lauder. During college, she landed modeling gigs in Japan and Paris and appeared on European magazine covers. In 1998, she was named VH1/Vogue’s Model of the Year. She was hired to model for Prada and Calvin Klein.

Murphy landed the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue cover in 2005. She also appeared inside the magazine for three straight years. In one photo, she drove a powder blue classic convertible in the ocean.

Next: America’s first supermodel

10. Cheryl Tiegs

Left: Cheryl Tiegs in her supermodel days. | Sports Illustrated, Right: Cheryl Tiegs looks amazing today. | Angela Weiss/Getty Images

  • Net worth: $24 million

Cheryl Tiegs, now 70, is considered America’s first supermodel. She started out at 17, modeling in a bathing suit ad in Seventeen magazine. She left college to further her modeling career and landed cover shoots with Glamour, Elle, Seventeen, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar.

Tiegs first appeared on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover in 1970 — and again in 1975 and 1983. She posed in a white mesh one-piece bathing suit and also in a lacy bathing suit under a waterfall.

Next: She posed with an NBA player.

9. Bar Refaeli

Bar Refaeli has been both on the cover and inside the magazine.| Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

  • Net worth: $25 million

Israeli-born model Bar Refaeli, 32, has been the face of Garnier, Escada, Chanel, Subaru, Gap, Samsung, True Religion, Sears, and more. She was voted No. 1 on Maxim magazine’s Hot 100 list of 2012. In 2013, she appeared in a memorable GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial kissing Jesse Heiman.

Refaeli appeared on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover in 2009. She went on to appear inside the magazine in 2012, posing in a black bikini alongside NBA star Chris Paul.

Next: She was married to a Full House star.

8. Rebecca Romijn

Rebecca Romijn ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, February 16, 1999. | Matt Campbell/AFP/Getty Images

  • Net Worth: $30 million

She’s known as the former wife of John Stamos and was nicknamed “Jolly Blonde Giant” for her five-foot-eleven-inch frame. Rebecca Romijn, 45, has posed for Victoria’s Secret, Miller Lite, Armani, bebe — and twice on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover. For a photo shoot in Kenya, the model donned white and silver metallic swimsuits.

Next: A famous rocker’s former wife

7. Rachel Hunter

Rachel Hunter, 1999. | Brenda Chase Online USA, Inc./Getty Images

  • Net worth: $60 million

Perhaps she’s best known for her marriage to rocker Rod Stewart, but Rachel Hunter, 48, has graced the covers of Cosmopolitan and Playboy — which reportedly paid her $1.8 million. The New Zealand native may be best known, however, for posing in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She appeared in the magazine eight times, including one famous shot in the sand wearing a gold bikini with wet hair.

Next: A model who doesn’t seem to age

6. Christie Brinkley

Left: Christie Brinkley in 2000. | George De Sota/Liaison/Getty Images, Right: Christie Brinkley in 2017. | ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

  • Net worth: $80 million

It’s been said Christie Brinkley looks nowhere near her age of 64. The supermodel spent 25 years as the face of Cover Girl and for decades appeared on magazine covers and in commercials. The bulk of her wealth, however, comes from savvy real estate investments in the Hamptons.

The supermodel appeared on three consecutive Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues from 1979 through 1981. She was again photographed for the magazine in 2017, seemingly covered with nothing but a large straw hat.

Next: The magazine’s first African-American model

5. Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks has become a pop culture fixture. | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

  • Net worth: $90 million

Tyra Banks, 44, began modeling in high school and has worked for some of the world’s largest companies. She’s been on the covers of Vogue, GZ, Cosmo, and Elle. But she’s made most of her money in TV. She created and hosted America’s Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show.

She was the first African American model to appear on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, in 1996. In 2018, she celebrated Danielle Herrington becoming the third African American on the cover. “Go go go, Danielle! Make TyTy proud!” she wrote.

Next: Her legs are insured for millions.

4. Heidi Klum

heidi klum

At 44, Heidi Klum is as high-profile as ever. | NBC

  • Net worth: $90 million

Heidi Klum started modeling at 19 in 1992 and has appeared on the covers of Vogue and Elle. The German and American model was a Victoria’s Secret Angel and currently hosts Lifetime reality show Project Runway.

Klum, now 44, appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in 1998. Her legs are insured: one for $2.2 million and the other for $1 million, because “I have a big old scar on my knee,” she told the magazine.

Next: A model who doesn’t call herself pretty

3. Elle Macpherson

Elle Macpherson arrives at TwitterAU HQ

Elle Macpherson doesn’t love her looks. | Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

  • Net worth: $95 million

Elle Macpherson, 54, started modeling in Australia to pay for law school. However, she had such success that modeling soon became her top priority. By 1986, the supermodel had appeared on the covers of Cosmopolitan, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Elle.

She set a record for being on the most Sports Illustrated Swimsuit covers, having appeared on five by 2006. She shared her interesting perspective on her looks with the magazine: “I’m on the borderline of being ugly and being ok. People that are like that have a lot of range. You’ll see. The people that you’re not quite sure about are the ones that have the most versatility, rather than the ones that are obviously the most beautiful.”

Next: Her products earn billions

2. Kathy Ireland

Kathy Ireland in 1998. | Getty Images

  • Net worth: $500 million

Kathy Ireland’s namesake brand sells $2 billion in products annually. The businesswoman’s products include indoor/outdoor accessories, rugs, baby furniture, bedding, wedding gowns, fine crystal, and mattresses.

The supermodel, now 55, shot her first cover for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in 1989. That has remained the best-selling swimsuit issue of all time. She also appeared on the magazine’s covers again in 1992 and 1994.

Next: One of today’s hottest recording artists

1. Beyonce

Beyonce was once a Sports Illustrated cover model. | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

  • Net worth: $500 million

Beyonce, 36, has accumulated most of her massive net worth from her work as a recording artist. She’s also dabbled in acting, appearing in Austin Powers in Goldmember and The Pink Panther. Together with her mother Tina Knowles, she also launched a women’s fashion line. Many endorsement opportunities have come her way, most notably for Pepsi.

In addition to singing, acting, and designing clothing, she also scored the cover shot for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in 2007. For the shoot, Queen Bey posed on a Florida beach in a yellow and pink bikini — one from her own fashion label.

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