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Kate Upton Lands Cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (Video)

Best known for her "Dougie" Clippers dance on YouTube, the Florida-raised model joins the ranks of past SI cover girls Elle Macpherson, Tyra Banks and Brooklyn Decker.

Sports Illustrated

Kate Upton used to be known as the girl who taught Clippers fans how to do the "Dougie" in her ubiquitous YouTube video. 

But she’s the Sports Illustrated 2012 swimsuit issue cover girl. Pretty major leap considering the fact that past cover girls have gone on to become very rich supermodels such as Bar Refaeli, Heidi Klum, Elle Macpherson, Tyra Banks and Brooklyn Decker.

Upton graces the cover wearing a string bikini and the operative word – at least for the bottom part – is definitely “string.”

M.J. Daly, senior editor for SI, says Upton "embodies the sophistication and sexiness" called for in the issue that is read (OK, seen) by an estimated 70 million readers in the magazine, the Web and on mobile devices like phones and tablets.

This year's 17 stunning models were photographed in Australia, Zambia, the Republic of Seychelles, Panama and in Apalachicola, Florida.

"Every single girl we shoot has the opportunity to be on the cover, and it really comes down to who has the best picture," Daly explains. "Whoever has that really special, jaw-dropping photo ends up on the cover."

The swimsuit edition hits newsstands on Tuesday,. Inside are also star female athletes in nothing but body paint. An iPhone app gives users a 360-degree view of the naked painted women. 

Happy Valentine's Day, folks.

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