Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: Tyra Banks covers issue 23 years after history-making cover

Tyra Banks is making her big return!

The legendary supermodel, 45, came out of retirement as a model to grace the cover of the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, which was unveiled on Wednesday, May 8. The cover comes 23 years after Banks became the first ever black woman to cover the coveted issue alone back in 1997 (she had previously appeared on the cover alongside Valeria Mazza in 1996).

See the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover in the gallery below:

Sexiest SI Swimsuit Photos Ever!
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Sexiest SI Swimsuit Photos Ever!
@tyrabanks, @camillekostek and @alexmorgan13 have landed the cover of #SISwim 2019! ✨ “The three women that make up the covers of the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue represent the brand in the most powerful way possible,” @mj_day said. “While each individual woman is so unique, they come together cohesively to tell a spectacular story."
So excited to announce my 7th appearance in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition - I had to count that a million times before I believed it! My @si_swimsuit family, I love you! There is nothing like being a part of this brand and this issue. My shoot was in beautiful Zanzibar and shot by the incomparable @ruvenafanador, who is just as wonderful, kind, serene and lovely as everyone has ever told me. He thinks about every little aspect of a photo, every detail. HMU by @peterbutlerhair and @joannegair I LOVE you and am so lucky you allow me to be in your chairs! @mj_day and @darciebaum and @ja_neyney @hillarydrezner and @karencarpk - you are my family. I am proud to be in the issue but SO proud of all the work you guys put into this every single year. I just love you all. Jesus this is dramatic I know! And to all my fellow @si_swimsuit girls, congrats on a beautiful issue!!! I will see you this week in MIAMI!!!! I can't wait to kiss all your beautiful faces!
Today's Throwback since the @si_swimsuit is out ! This was back in Mexico . #tbt . 📷 @walteriooss
Flashback Friday - because it's that time of year. 1988.
Take us back to Tahiti with @hannahbjeter. 📸 : @yutsai88 👙 : @mikoh
Happy Birthday @kateupton ❤️ #siswim (📸 by @jamesmacari)
@si_swimsuit 2017 issue out TODAY!! 😘
⌛️⌛️⌛️ #sportsillustrated //swimsuit by @swimsuitsforall//
1979 Seychelles Islands La Digue Island Sports Illustrated Swinsuit Shoot . Me and my bag of tricksheading to a location . I could not believe the beauty .. the sculpted boulders the lush vegetation still untouched by development at the time. Thank You @si_swimsuit for showing me the world! @si_swimsuit @mj_day #seychelleislands
I never could have predicted I would get 3 #SportsIllustrated covers in a row so in 1981 when this happened...🎉🌈👀🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️💃💥☄️⚡️🌪⭐️🥂🍾🏆🎶🌀💗💛💙🎊🎈🎆🎇!!!!!!!! We shot in Captiva, Florida.. waking up in the middle of the night so we could get to the boat in the dark and zip out to some little white sand bar or other beautiful wilderness spot to capture the sunrise. To me to be outdoors to watch the sunrise, and spend the day with a team looking for ways to create something special, and then watch the sun sink into the sea my idea of a perfect day. Thank you Sports Illustrated for giving me so many perfect days! @si_swimsuit @mj_day #cover3
..and then you could have knocked me over with a seagull feather when I heard I had the cover again for the second year in a row!!! Say what???? ME? Am I on Candid Camera? Lol! This was 1980 and this had never happened before! I was invited on The Tonight Show with Jonny Carson , The Mike Douglas Show, ... Well basically every show !!! It was a really BIG deal! They took me to a fancy lunch at 21 Club and they had a cake painted to look exactly like the cover! I remember describing every detail to my parents every night. Thank you @si_swimsuit #sicover #2 #peterisland #caribbeansea #sishoot #cover2
My First Sports Illustrated Cover in 1979! It was shot in one of the most magical places in the world ... a place where every island in the chain has its own distinct personality. The Seychelles Islands are found off the coast of Madagascar. I travelled there from Los Angeles and it took me almost 4 days just to get there but it was so worth it! On the island called Pralin we stayed in huts on a beach and the door to my hut didn't even go near the ground so I could see the fishermens feet as they walked by and I could hear the waves and birds and coco de mer on the wind was Magical! La Digue Island had the most gorgeous beaches that you had to crawl thru tunnels under giant boulders to access! Transportation was by ox cart. Bats were a local delicacy! On Bird Island the sand was pink and the bugs came in every color! I loved my Sports Illustrated Adventures and sm soooo grateful for the memories! Thank you @si_swimsuit #seychellesisland #photoshoot #sishoot
Opened the mailbox yesterday...😱 #siswimsuit #kateupton
Happy 21st Birthday to @si_swimsuit cover model @haileyclauson ❤️ We can't wait to see what this year has in store for you! #siswim (📸 : @jamesmacari // 👙: @lavidaloha)
We know what will make this Sunday even better! The gorgeous @hannahfergusonofficial! 📸 : @jamesmacari // 👙: @hayhaycouture #siswim
Happy Birthday to the gorgeous @emilydidonato! We love you ❤️🎁 #siswim. Photo by @jamesmacari // top by @fannieschiavoni // swimsuit by @missoni.
We know how to cure your Monday blues... More 2016 #SISwim photos and videos in our bio 💋 Shot by @yutsai88 swimsuit by @nastygal
Introducing the second 2016 #SISwim cover model @theashleygraham! 👙🌴
Happy Birthday to our 2007 cover model and Queen 🐝 @beyonce #siswim #beyonce
Lily, Lily, Lily ❤️ @lilyaldridge #siswim (📷: @jamesmacari)
#tbt @irinashayk and her incredible 2011 cover. Shot in Hawaii 🌴🌴 by @bjorniooss #siswim
Everyone wish our 2009 cover girl @barrefaeli a very Happy Birthday! See 30 of her best @si_swimsuit pictures on Swim Daily (link in bio). #tbt #siswim #barrefaeli - 📷 by @raphaelmazzucco
Happy 23rd Birthday to our two-time cover model & ultimate bombshell @kateupton ❤️ #siswim
Make sure you head on over to Swim Daily today to see exclusive behind the scenes footage from @irinashayk's shoot with @yutsai88 in Kauai! 👙 by @bellinarebelle #siswim
SURPRISE!!! Introducing the 2015 #SISwim cover model, @hanni_davis​!
Flashback Friday with the Sylvander Twins! #1976 #siswimsuit
Warm & sunny St. Lucia with @hferguson1313 sounds much better than the snowy polar vortex that is NYC. #daydreaming #siswimsuit
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from @si_swimsuit and our 2014 cover girls 🎅 #siswimsuit (excuse the horrible Santa hat photo shop)
The 2006 Swimsuit issue cover! A great #TBT which is also fitting for the holiday weekend coming up! #BeachParty #4thofJuly
Just beautiful @ninaagdal
What a view! @samanthahoopes_
We LOVE body paint! @emrata
SWIM MESSAGE: Hey everyone! Just a shout out live from Miami. Having such an awesome time meeting all the SI girls and celebrating the 50th anniversary xx - @lauren_mellor
Congrats @ninaagdal, @lilyaldridge and @chrissyteigen!! 2014 SI Swimsuit cover girls! #siswim50
Happy 21st birthday to @kateupton ! (Photo by Derek Kettela) #SISwimsuit #Antarctica
Got to think outside of the box even if you loose your #swimsuit on the @si_swimsuit shoot! 😉 📷 by ultimate #SI legend @walteriooss. #ThrowbackThursday

"My first one was 23 years ago, how crazy is that," Banks said on "GMA" Wednesday morning. "I'm like, 'Damn, I'm 45, dog!'"

For her cover, Banks was photographed in Great Exuma, Bahamas, by photographer Laretta Houston. She dons a yellow Andi Bagus bikini for the photo.

For another photo inside the issue, Banks recreated her iconic cover from 1997, in which she wore a red bikini with pink polka-dots on it. 

"We couldn't find the exact one in the archives -- it was a polka dot bikini, so we recreated that bikini," she explained. "I recreated it -- 25 pounds heavier!"

Credit: Russell James/Sports Illustrated

Banks' SI Swimsuit cover is one of three covers this year: Soccer star Alex Morgan and model Camille Kostek, who is dating recently-retired New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski, are this year's other two cover stars.

The 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue hits newsstands on Wednesday, May 8.

See photos of Camille Kostek in the gallery below:

Camille Kostek on her Instagram account
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Camille Kostek on her Instagram account
got my outfit for Super Bowl Sunday, what are you guys wearing ?? 🤪 🏈
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF 🏈 LFG @patriots !!!!!! I’m sending energy from California to Gillette!!!! Suiting up for my Softball game at Pepperdine University supporting @california.strong ❤️ It’s time for me to hit some homers while the boys score touchdowns HERE WE GO
I’m back back to Cali Cali 🌞
but first, let me take a selfie 🤳🏼
🚕 💋
@si_swimsuit takes Miami 🌺
cropped football jersey and a bikini bottom ?! @mj_day you get me 🏈👙
got back from Australia just in time for Halloween in LA 🍭 #TrickOrTreat my sweeeets 🖤
Imma tiger RAWRRR 🐯🐯🐯🐯 sneaky peeeeky for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2019!!! . REPOST @si_swimsuit ✨ @mj_day @josie_clough @michael_brennan @peterbeard
I got this really crazy overwhelming feeling of excitement out of no where and remembered I am smack dab in the middle of experiencing and living a dream of mine. This euphoric feeling can’t be shook. Amongst all, I’m living this model dream of mine in the shape that I feel most myself in. The shape and size that had worked against me in the industry for years, was the same body I got to rock in my @si_swimsuit debut 👙 I’m going to continue standing tall and posing proud for my girls to embody all that they are 💪 We are all capable of truly anything and I’m a firm believer that if you hustle with heart your timing will all make sense 🧚‍♂️ . Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2018
describe yourself in one facial expression emoji below . Mine is 😏 ... your turn
What a pleasure it was to get a sneak peek of @hubweek in Boston before it’s open to the public TOMORROW! The amount of creativity that surrounds this city is magical ✨ The art, the evolving technology and science and musical talent is displayed in the most incredible and interactive way in Boston all week!! If you’re in the area you should check it out for yourself ❤️ #HUBweek
when you’re in public and you text bae from across the room and wait for him to read it 😏
Would you rather order room service to eat in your robe or dress up to dine fancy for a dinner 🍴
Back in 🦊boro ☺️❤️🏈
🍒🍒🍒🍒🍒 if you zoom in close, you can find me wearing my favorite pieces from my #VoyagerCollection for @dunejewelry 😍 gold sunnies charm paired with my BZE airport code ✨

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