Rolling Stone magazine isn’t the only publication that caters towards a male audience in its provocative covers starring scantily-clad celebrities. Yet it is unique in its ability to convey information on everything from music industry insight and celebrity news to current events and controversial topics. While many of the covers highlight the hottest men and women in the entertainment industry, there are also a variety of covers that are thought-provoking on a different level. From Bernie Sanders to the Boston Marathon bomber, Rolling Stone magazine has never pigeonholed themselves into a specific guideline for its covers.
The same can be said for their pictorial spreads and article content, since it isn’t always just music-related news that is featured in the magazine. While many think of Rolling Stone as more than just a men’s magazine, many of the pictorials have featured some of the hottest women in the celebrity world. Although some of the features on artists like Keith Richards have definitely been intriguing, readers aren’t too thrilled about seeing him sprawled out in a swimsuit.
Instead, the magazine has featured various starlets and music artists to grace their covers and pages since it was first founded in 1967. Unlike other magazines that focus solely on the shock value of its provocative photos, Rolling Stone magazine offers true substance behind all their pictorials. Check out our list of the 15 sexiest spreads in Rolling Stone magazine, and see which celebrities lived up to their hype.
15. Taylor Swift
For a magazine that has music on the forefront of its mind, there is no one better to highlight than Taylor Swift. As one of the best-selling artists of all time, she has become a cultural icon in the eyes of more than just her girl squad. Making the successful transition from country music to pop, she has pretty much grown up in the public eye. While her country style was filled with bouncy hair and music videos referencing high school, her transition into pop music also helped to introduce a new and more mature side to her fans. Keeping with her new sexy persona, Swift changed more than just her stage presence. Posing for Rolling Stone magazine for a number of spreads and covers, our favorite includes a two page spread with Swift painting red nail polish on her toes. While the wet white t-shirt looks super-hot on the cover, there’s something about a woman painting with nail polish that creates a super feminine look. Highlighting her long legs and revealing just enough underneath a slouched jacket over her shoulders, Swift has proven she is all grown up in the best possible way.
14. Nicki Minaj
Terry Richardson is a world famous photographer that has been called upon by various magazines to put his spin on some of the hottest celebrity photo shoots. So, when Rolling Stone magazine was looking for a photographer to shoot their January 2015 cover, it was none other than Terry Richardson who was chosen to photograph their model. Nicki Minaj was chosen for this shoot, and the cover highlights a more subtle version of this over-the-top female rapper. Rather than donning her pink wig and full makeup, the cover offers a much more natural Nicki Minaj than the public is used to. Yet, she definitely didn’t leave out her sex appeal, since she wore a stretched out white t-shirt that left almost nothing to the imagination. While the cover was provocative enough, it was the released photos from the spread that really made fans take a second look at the sexy Minaj. Richardson posted the pictorial photos on his website, and the stretched out white T-shirt took on a whole new look. With an American flag print and a matching denim American flag hat, Minaj posed with a salute and a super-sultry look.
13. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence catapulted into full-on movie star status when she took home an Oscar at the tender age of just 22-years-old for Silver Linings Playbook. Yet she was already considered a film star long before she had her infamous fall on the way to the Oscar podium. Although she received critical acclaim for her performance in Winter’s Bone, it was The Hunger Games film series that really put her on the map in regard to mainstream fame. In 2012, her Hunger Games journey had just begun when she posed on the cover of Rolling Stone Spain. While the cover wasn’t exactly her sexiest look, it was the interior pictorial spread that showcased her naturally glamorous look. Walking along the train tracks in a sequin leotard and fuzzy sweater, it wasn’t exactly the concept of the photos that helped it jump off the page – it was her natural glow and bangin’ body. Showcasing thigh gap and an hourglass figure that exudes femininity, Lawrence proved early on that she would be the next “It” girl in Hollywood.
In February 2015, Madonna was featured in Rolling Stone magazine where she gave a candid interview about everything from Lady Gaga’s success to how the world views age in our society. Once considered a sexual icon in her prime, the world has seemed to tire of her over-the-top antics. Even many of her fans wish she would start dressing her age, but she continues to try and push the envelope regardless of what others might think. While she may not always be able to pull it off on the red carpet, her photo spread for Rolling Stone was a definite winner. Donning an animal print, a cozy red sweater, and a pair of white heels, she looks more like a super-sexy pinup girl than a mother of two that peaked in the ’80s. Despite your own thoughts on Madonna’s take on aging, it’s hard to deny the sex appeal of a woman that continues to exude confidence and sexuality regardless of her age. The magazine gave the perfect response to all her naysayers with her statement, “This is what a 56-year-old ass looks like!”
11. Lena Headey And Emilia Clarke
In March 2012, members of the cast of the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones, gathered for a photo shoot with Rolling Stone magazine. The result was a number of fun, intimate, and almost family-like photographs of the actors playing Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, Jon Snow, and Theon Greyjoy. While each photo can pretty much stand on their own, it’s the back-to-back photo of Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke that really stood out. Both of these actresses look so different from their blonde-haired counterparts on the series, and their natural look is so much more glamorous than the one they don while featured in the fantasy drama. The back-to-back shot really shows a femininity to both actresses that isn’t always depicted onscreen, and it’s a totally different take on the “Clash of Queens” theme that is thrust upon them from the show. Sexy, strong, and seemingly united- this is definitely a great way to show themselves to the public off screen.
10. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga has always marched to the beat of her own drummer, ever since her “Poker Face” and meat dress days. Using her appearance as a way to further express herself and introduce her music to others, people became accustomed to seeing Gaga in over-the-top ensembles. Yet sometimes it was the lack of clothing that made the biggest statements of all. In 2009, she graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine wearing nothing but bubbles. True to Gaga form, the bubbles were actually a carefully crafted ensemble and not just the soapy suds you find in the bathtub. However, the effect was the same. The inside of the magazine featured a two-page spread that highlighted more insight to the cover shot. Not only is Gaga completely nude, but she is standing atop an orgy of naked men and women covered in bubbles. While it’s all done for the sake of art, you can’t help but find the sex appeal in this kind of naked and sudsy photo spread.
9. Ronda Rousey
For the May 2015 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Ronda Rousey was featured inside the magazine for a piece entitled, “Ronda Rousey: The World’s Most Dangerous Woman.” Obviously 2015 was a pretty good year for Rousey, since she was at the peak of her game and became a favorite as a female mixed-martial artist. She starred in the Entourage film, and donned the pages and covers of numerous magazines. From the cover of Sports Illustrated to posing completely nude for ESPN: 2012 The Body Issue, Rousey aroused intrigue even outside of martial arts fans. Her Rolling Stone feature created a super-sexy look, in a way that differed from some of her other pictorials. Wearing a bandage-style swimsuit, the cutouts seemed to highlight all the most feminine features of her silhouette. Her legs are posed provocatively in a gym atmosphere, balancing and holding a pose without even breaking a sweat. Making strong look sexy, Rousey proved that she can still look smokin’ hot, even if she can whip some butt.
8. Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba is a key example of how a celebrity can use her star power to branch out into other career opportunities. While she started her acting career in television, she quickly made a name for herself in film with some pretty racy character portrayals. From Honey to Into the Blue, even Fantastic Four made sure to slip in a shot with her in lingerie. Nowadays, she foregoes the films featuring scantily-clad costumes for her Honest company that focuses on all things baby. More seen as a devoted mother and guru for all things natural, fans must rely on some of her earlier films and pictorial spreads to see the sexiest shots of our favorite Sin City star. Posing for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 2005, Alba had the same blonde locks she donned for the Fantastic Four film. The inside pictorial shows Alba on the beach wearing an ultra-feminine white chiffon ensemble, showcased by her flowing blonde curls. Looking more like a sexy mermaid or a water goddess, Alba’s photos were worthy of a pinup poster by anyone who’s seen it.
7. Jessica Simpson
Back when Jessica Simpson was known simply as a music artist that was all grown up from her Disney kid days, she was further introduced to the world through her reality show in 2003. Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica offered insight into the real-life Barbie and Ken marriage of a beautiful pop star and her boy band husband, Nick Lachey. She wasn’t exactly shown as the epitome of intelligence and domestic skills in the show, but it made her public persona even more likable. Playing off this irony, Simpson posed for a pictorial spread and the cover for a 2003 issue for Rolling Stone magazine. Posing in nothing but a tank top, high heels, and white panties, she’s seen pushing a Swiffer mop with the title of “Housewife of the Year.” The spread goes on to show her doing various household chores from scrubbing to dusting, all in the same skimpy outfit. While she may not be known for her cleaning skills, the spread showed that she sure does look sexy giving it a try.
6. Katy Perry
Katy Perry has graced the cover and interior pages of Rolling Stone magazine a number of times, and everyone seems to have their own favorite look to this pop singer who “kissed a girl, and liked it.” She was highly criticized for her August 2010 Rolling Stone cover, since it was highly Photoshopped. The before and after photos were leaked to the public, and many found it shocking that someone as slim as Perry would be digitally enhanced on the cover. With a woman that already has a phenomenal body, it is a slap in the face to reality to further enhance the smoothness of her skin and the plumpness of her breasts. Regardless of the controversy over her photos, no one can deny the sex appeal she exudes on camera. Of the many Rolling Stone spreads she has participated in, it’s the demi-bra and ripped shorts photo spread that was the sexiest. Foregoing her signature pinup style for a bit of trashy, Perry didn’t need a super modern kitchen setup to look like the sexy housewife any man would want.
5. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has never been a stranger to controversy ever since she shed her good girl image from the Hannah Montana persona. Yet her over-the-top antics weren’t exactly thought of as sexy when she first represented herself on the VMA stage twerking with a giant foam finger. While some may have liked the extra bit of flesh she chose to reveal with her stage ensemble, most were just repelled by how vulgar and completely changed she appeared to be. So, when she appeared nude on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, no one seemed all that surprised. Shot by Theo Wenner for the October 2013 issue, it was the released outtakes from the photo spread that got people talking about how raw and open she looked in many of the pictures. While you may not agree with her in-your-face mantra of sexuality, it is refreshing to see a young woman embrace her sexuality in a way that exudes confidence. Strutting her stuff in the pool or the shower, Rolling Stone magazine chose to highlight how sexy Cyrus can be without all the pomp and circumstance of the stage.
4. Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian has been coined the “Queen of Selfies,” but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know how to be photographed by a professional. Starring on the cover of numerous magazines and inside the pages of all the top magazines in the world, Kardashian is known for being photogenic and provoking throughout. Posing for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in July 2015, she proved that a woman can still be smokin’ hot even after becoming married and having children. North West was born in 2013, and her second child with Kanye West was welcomed in December 2015. With all the scrutiny she endured over her weight gain during her pregnancies, she used her Rolling Stone cover and pictorial to prove to the world that she still has it. The cover highlighted her ample bust, and showed her in a state of undress wearing a captain’s hat. The inside spread featured a seductive Kim K. flashing her over-the-top engagement ring in full view of the camera lens. Proving that there is definitely still such a thing as “MILF” in today’s society, Kim K. has it in spades.
When Chris Brown was charged with assault on Rihanna in 2009, it was tricky for both parties involved to navigate public perception so their personal lives wouldn’t negatively impact their professional careers. Brown is still fighting to earn back the trust and respect of the public, but Rihanna has managed to come out on top and evolve her public persona. Rather than coming out of the incident as a victim, she came out looking like a strong woman that was even able to forgive. Appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in February 2013, the pictorial spread helped to further tell the narrative through a very candid interview. Opening up about how and why she was able to forgive and reconcile with Chris Brown, the photos depicted a very assertive and strong Rihanna who doesn’t seem to care what others think. Not to discount how sexy all the photos are in her sleek white swimsuit and bed-tossed hair, but there is something very appealing about a woman that is confident in her own skin and doesn’t need anyone else’s approval.
2. Leighton Meester And Blake Lively
Back in 2009 when Blake Lively was only known for her role on Gossip Girl, she donned the cover of Rolling Stone magazine alongside Leighton Meester, licking an ice cream cone. While the cover was hot enough, it was the rest of the spread that showed the true genius behind Terry Richardson’s photography and the immense sex appeal of these two starlets. The two can be seen hugging it up, sharing a single Twizzlers, and playfully roughhousing. Yet the pictures involving Lively getting her thumb sucked by Meester were the definite winners in choosing the sexiest shots of both starlets. While one is more seductive than the other, the photo depicting Lively in a full blown laugh tells it all. The girls were definitely having fun during this photoshoot, and nothing is sexier than women that can laugh along to whatever ridiculous situation they’re thrown into. From the spontaneity of the photographed chemistry to the incredible sex appeal, these two ladies definitely know how to work a camera.
1. Miranda Kerr
In a world where models are quickly becoming obsolete, the days of only supermodels donning the covers of magazines have come to an end. Nowadays, it’s music artists and actresses that are chosen for magazine covers over just another runway model. Yet, Miranda Kerr is a model that has been able to stretch beyond her Victoria’s Secret model status. As one of the very few models that have been able to acquire mainstream fame, Kerr was chosen for the cover of the first “Green Issue” for the July 2009 issue of the Australian Rolling Stone magazine. Shown completely naked and chained to a tree, she had nothing but her hands and her hair to discreetly cover herself for the photo. Yet it was the inside pictorial shots that showed just how sexy she could be in a simple pair of jeans. While she still wasn’t wearing a shirt, it wasn’t just the exposed flesh that had people admiring her sex appeal in the photo spread. Shot in black-and-white, her haunted expression was a great add to her ultra-feminine sex appeal.