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Kate Upton topless for Sports Illustrated

The buxom beauty is back!

The 24-year-old model has landed Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit edition cover for the third time.

Kate’s comeback sees her posing topless for the cover of the famous magazine, covering her modesty with nothing but a strategically placed arm.

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Kate Upton has posed topless for Sports Illustrated. Photo: Sports Illustrated

The beauty got not one but three different covers. Photo: Sports Illustrated

Upton was announced as the cover star of the magazine’s annual Swimsuit edition on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ on Tuesday and her image was projected onto the Empire State Building in New York City.

And in recognition of the fact it is Kate’s third time on the cover, Sports Illustrated has decided to publish three different versions of the magazine, each with a different photograph of the curvaceous star.

Speaking on the US chat show, Kate admitted the magazine only confirmed she was set to feature on the all-important front cover on Monday.

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Upton hasn’t been on a cover of Sports Illustrated since 2013. Photo: Sports Illustrated

Here she is pictured on the 2012 cover. Photo: Sports Illustrated

“They’re very difficult to read they totally ghost you,” she said.

And although she was sworn to secrecy by the publishers, Kate – who is engaged to professional baseball player Justin Verlander – admitted to telling the news to some of her closest friends and family.

“I would say don’t tell me secrets,” she quipped.

In perhaps the most eye-catching of the three photographs set to adorn the front cover, Kate is pictured wearing a bikini made from rope and she is covering her ample bust with her arms.

“I’m pretty sure it’s Sports Illustrated Nude Magazine,” she joked.

Kate also appeared on the cover of the 2013 Swimsuit Edition. Photo: Sports Illustrated

Kate first appeared in the magazine in 2011, when she was named Rookie of the Year, and after that she secured back-to-back covers in 2012 and 2013, establishing her as a household name and one of the most recognisable women in the world.

However Kate’s appearance on the cover of the magazine was a shock for many, as it was previously reported by Page Six that the star had fallen out with the people who run Sports Illustrated.

“There was drama,” a source told the publication.

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“Kate demanded that if she did the shoot, that she absolutely must get the cover.”

It was also reported that Kate claimed she would only work with certain hair and make-up artists on the shoot.

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