(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Tyra Banks Covers Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue More Than 2 Decades After Debut

Tyra Banks attends Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2018 Launch Event on February 14, 2018. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

Tyra Banks has come out of retirement to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

The model-turned-mogul was the first African American model to appear on the cover back in 1997. Now, more than two decades after she made her cover debut, she's returned to the magazine that helped make her a star.

“My first one was 23 years ago, how crazy is that,” Banks told Good Morning America on Wednesday. “I’m like damn — I’m 45 dog!”

@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."

37.2k Likes, 555 Comments - Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@si_swimsuit) on Instagram: "@tyrabanks, @camillekostek and @alexmorgan13 have landed the cover of #SISwim 2019! ✨ "The three..."

“We couldn’t find the exact one in the archives," Banks said of her original swimsuit worn in 1997. "It was the polka dot bikini so we recreated that bikini. I recreated it [the shoot] — 25 pounds heavier.”

"I never thought it would be possible to be 45 years old and on the cover of this magazine again." ❤️ @tyrabanks is embracing her age and curves for #SISwim 2019. * * * @grandisleresort @visitthebahamas #grandisleresortexuma

15.3k Likes, 368 Comments - Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@si_swimsuit) on Instagram: ""I never thought it would be possible to be 45 years old and on the cover of this magazine again."..."

The magazine praised Banks and the growth of her career since that famous cover.

“Since Tyra’s first cover in 1996, she’s transformed herself into nothing less than a mogul, a cultural force and a supernova of inspiration and empowerment,” says SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day. “She’s kind of the Swimsuit Issue ethos come to life, everything we know this franchise can be.”

Banks is one of three cover models for 2019, including by Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan, who is on the USA Soccer team and Camille Kostek, who won the magazine's 2019 model search.