Kim Petras Says Modeling for 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit' Cover 'Was a Huge Confidence Boost' (Exclusive)

The pop star also announced that her first major label album, Feed the Beast, will drop on June 23


Kim Petras is in her cover girl era.

The "Heart to Break" singer, 30, is one of four stars to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit in 2023, the outlet announced Monday.

Petras is only the second transgender woman to cover the magazine in its history.

"It's super exciting to have my Sports Illustrated cover and album announcement happening at the same time! Yu Tsai and the whole team at Sports Illustrated made me feel really comfortable and like I belonged there. I had the best time and, honestly, it was a huge confidence boost," Petras tells PEOPLE exclusively.

Yu Tsai/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Kim Petras, SI Swimsuit 2023
Yu Tsai/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Kim Petras, SI Swimsuit 2023

In addition to Petras, Megan Fox, Martha Stewart and Brooks Nader modeled for this year's buzzy issue.

"I was so excited when I got the call to be in Sports Illustrated," Petras told SI. "It's very iconic, and a lot of very iconic people have done it before, so [it was a] big dream come true for me."

Related:How Martha Stewart Prepared to Pose on the Cover of 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit' at Age 81

On Monday, Petras also revealed that she'll release her major label debut album, Feed the Beast, on June 23.

"I am so excited that my album is coming out," she tells PEOPLE. "It has been in the works for three years. I've really sacrificed my entire life to it and have been writing these songs that mean the world to me. I feel like it's something that you've never heard from me before!"

Frazer Harrison/Getty Kim Petras and Sam Smith
Frazer Harrison/Getty Kim Petras and Sam Smith

So far, 2023 has been a busy — and successful year — for the pop star. In February, Petras made history at the Grammys when she and Sam Smith became the first openly transgender and non-binary artists, respectively, to win the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their hit "Unholy." And earlier this month, she attended the Met Gala wearing Marc Jacobs.

"I've been doing this for years and years and years, and I've always just cared about the most important thing: that the music is good, that my catalog is good, that there's not songs that I'll be embarrassed by in the future and just making sure everything I do is better than the last thing. It's cool that that philosophy remains true — and it paid off," Petras told PEOPLE last fall.

Related:Kim Petras on Finding Success After Being Told She'd 'Never Make It': 'Look at Me Now, Bitches!'

Following the success of "Unholy," Petras released a string of singles ("If Jesus Was a Rockstar," "brrr") before dropping her Nicki Minaj collab "Alone," which samples Deejay's iconic 1999 trance smash "Better Off Alone."

Alex “Grizz” Loucas Kim Petras and Nicki Minaj
Alex “Grizz” Loucas Kim Petras and Nicki Minaj

"I originally pitched the song to Nicki to be on her album, and she liked it, but nothing ever really happened, so I made it my own. And then I sent it again and asked her, 'You want to do a feature on this?' And she said yes, and she loved the song. And that just made me so proud and incredibly honored," Petras told PEOPLE at the time. "I look up to her so much, I feel like she only gets better, and I'm such a fan. I'm such a Barb. And that's how it came about."

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit hits newsstands on May 18.

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