Gayle King, 69, makes her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue debut in sizzling one-piece: ‘Sexy isn’t an age’

Work it, Gayle.

Gayle King made her glamorous Sports Illustrated debut in this year’s SI Swimsuit 2024 issue, but the star received a shock on CBS Mornings Tuesday when she found out that she was also one of the mag’s cover stars.

The morning show host, 69, sat down with models Kate Upton and Hunter McGrady to chat about this year’s special 60th anniversary issue in a clip shared on X (formerly known as Twitter), and it turns out they had a surprise up their sleeves.

Gayle King was shocked when she found out on Tuesday that she landed one of four covers of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2024. CBS Morning
King reacted in shock after seeing her cover for the first time. CBS Morning

Co-host Nate Burleson teased King’s appearance on the mag, saying, “Kate and Hunter aren’t the only cover stars in the room right now” and looking around before pointing at his colleague and saying, “she’s right here.”

Upton then presented a magazine to her fellow SI model while King screamed “I’m on the cover?!” and lifted her arms in the air.

“They told me I was just going to be on the inside!” she said, clapping her hands and beaming at her cover shot, which features the proud grandmother wearing a patterned geometric-print one-piece swimsuit by Evarae ($305) and a matching wrap.

“This is going to be on the newsstand? Oh my God!” King added before a larger version of her cover image flashed on a screen.

King and her niece wore matching yellow suits last year. Gayle King/Instagram
She did a “Thanksgiving swimsuit photo shoot” during a family trip. Gayle King/Instagram

“Let me just look at her,” she joked, while McGrady chimed in and said, “Sexy isn’t an age. Sexy isn’t a size. Like, look how beautiful you look. That’s so inspiring to women of all ages.”

King reflected on her insecurities, revealing that her grandma once told her, “mother nature was not as kind to you as she was to other little girls. Maybe you need to start wearing makeup like your friend [Oprah].”

“But when I look at that, I look damn good,” she said of her Sports Illustrated cover before getting one last surprise.

“You’re also on the cover of the legends edition of Sports Illustrated,” co-star Tony Dokoupil revealed as another magazine cover appeared on the studio’s screen.

Gayle and her niece rocked coordinating black-and-white suits. Gayle King/Instagram
She wore a lime gown to this year’s Met Gala. Madison Voelkel/BFA.com/Shutterstock

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In the shot, the mom of two poses alongside fellow SI Swimsuit models through the years — including Tyra Banks, Paulina Porizkova, Martha Stewart, Brooklyn Decker, Nina Agdal and more wearing evening gowns to mark the swimsuit issue’s 60th anniversary.

BFF Oprah Winfrey took the time to congratulate her longtime friend on Oprah Daily magazine’s Instagram account, sharing some “behind the scenes action of her shoot in Mexico.”

In the Reel, King models a variety of sleek suits including a bright green halterneck one-piece and a glamorous vintage-style white bathing suit while posing at a Mexican resort.

“I would have never thought this was possible,” King shared in the clip. “This was nowhere on my bucket list.”