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The magazine told Fox News Thursday they listed the American blonde bombshell on the top spot of the annual Maxim Hot 100 list, which celebrates powerful, head-turning women in pop culture.The Maxim 100, which first debuted in 2000, has previously given the top honor to stars such as Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Olivia Wilde. Last year’s winner was fellow model Hailey Baldwin.
The 26-year-old is on the magazine’s July/August 2018 cover where she proudly flaunted her assets on the sands of Israel.
“Thanks to Maxim for naming me the No. 1 hottest woman of 2018!” the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit star wrote on Instagram. “Shot by the amazing Gilles Bensimon in Israel.”
Maxim revealed picking Upton for this year was a no-brainer.“Perhaps no one has exuded Americana like this year’s winner, supermodel Kate Upton,” the publication shared. “Like her doppelgänger Marilyn Monroe, the 26-year-old is a blonde bombshell if there ever was one, complete with enviable curves, a sweet smile, and, remarkably, a good old-fashioned work ethic.”
Upton told Maxim she was grateful for the coveted honor, despite already being a sought-after model in the fashion world.
“You know, I work really hard on myself, on feeling good, working out, being strong. Being number one on the Hot 100 is a little reward for all of the hard work.”
Upton, who was born in Michigan, was scouted as a model at age 12 while leaving a Florida horse show. Her career has since skyrocketed over the years.
Still, Upton admitted she didn’t initially envision herself as a model.
“I was a horseback rider, so growing up around the barn, you don’t really think of yourself being in the fashion industry,” she said. “It seemed very glamorous. You know, being able to travel and meet new people and experience new things.”
Upton added she was especially thrilled to make her mark in Israel for Maxim.
“I was so excited,” she explained. “It was one of my bucket-list trips. Israel is such a new country, but obviously with such old, rooted history. I went to Jerusalem and to the Dead Sea and floated around; my mom came with me.”
But Upton isn’t done stunning audiences. While she has already appeared in Hollywood films, such as 2014’s “The Other Woman” and 2017’s “The Layover,” she’s gearing up for her next big role.
“It’s not an easy industry, and it’s very easy for someone like me to be typecast,” said Upton. I definitely don’t want to play the same role over and over again. I’m really waiting for my role that I’m able to be the best in.”
But these days, Upton has plenty of reasons to celebrate. In addition to her Maxim cover, she’s also enjoying her marriage to Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander. The couple tied the knot late last year in Tuscany.
Back in March, Verlander told Fox News it was crucial to support his wife’s jet-setting career while playing baseball.
“I have been to some of her shows, but our schedules are so tough,” he explained. “[But] on my off-season, I try to get out and support her when I can… The attraction was many of the similarities we share together, and that became evident the more we were with one another.”
Maxim’s Hot 100 party will take place on July 21 at the Hollywood Palladium and will be produced by Lagardère Sports & Entertainment and Rooftop2 Productions.