The Most Popular Magazine Covers Ever Published

The Beatles

Nowadays, we still remember The Beatles as the greatest music group of all time. However, there was a time when the four young men were just getting started.

The first big magazine cover they did was for LIFE in 1964, right as they were blowing up internationally. The issue sold a whopping 8.5 million copies. We can’t imagine how much a copy would be worth now!

David Bowie & Iman’s Daughter

David Bowie is still regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time. Thirty years ago, Bowie’s relationship with supermodel Iman was huge news. People thought they were an odd couple, but the two loved each other dearly.

In 2000, they welcomed their daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones, into the world. Hello! Magazine got the exclusive, which greatly increased its circulation.

Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta-Jones’ Wedding

The media was very hard on Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones when they first started dating due to the couple’s huge age gap. She was 29, while he was 54.

But, after all these years, the couple has proved everyone wrong since they are still married 20 years later. OK! Magazine had the exclusive on the wedding pictures and sold over a million copies.

David & Victoria Beckham’s Wedding

We are used to seeing these two together by now, but there was a time when David and Victoria Beckham were the hot new couple of the moment. They were two forces to be reckoned with: a soccer player and a pop star.

When these two tied the knot back in 1999, the public went wild. OK! Magazine published exclusive pictures of their lavish ceremony and sold over 1.5 million copies.

Barack Obama For Time Magazine

Being chosen Person of the Year by Time magazine is a great honor. President Barack Obama earned this title in 2008, when he was elected President for the first time.

What stood out from this election was that he was the first African-American President in the history of the United States. All politics aside, this was a great moment in modern history.

Ashton Kutcher & Demi Moore’s Wedding

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore’s relationship was all over the media, mainly because of their age gap. Moore was 43, and Kutcher was 27 when they started dating.

While age gaps are not so uncommon in Hollywood, the fact that the woman in the relationship was older is what really shocked people back in the day. OK! Magazine paid the couple $3 million for their wedding photos, which helped sell 1 million copies of the magazine.

Donald Trump

This magazine cover seems a little strange at first: we can only see Donald Trump looking down at a crying little girl. There's nothing else in the background, except for the words 'Welcome to America.'

This was Time magazine's way of addressing Trump's border separation policies, which were highly controversial at the time. When news broke that children and their parents were being separated at the border, Trump's image changed forever.

Ellen DeGeneres Comes Out

Nowadays, news of a celebrity coming out of the closet is not shocking. However, back in 1997, it was a huge deal, especially for a woman. When Ellen DeGeneres came out as lesbian, everyone was talking about it.

She did an exclusive interview with Time Magazine. She posed on the cover with the title ‘Yep, I’m Gay,’ which became an iconic phrase. 2 million copies of the issue were sold.

Brangelina’s First Child

It almost seems like a fever dream now to think about when Brangelina started dating. At the time, it was a huge scandal because Brad Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston when he started dating Angelina Jolie.

They were arguably the most talked-about celebrities for years, and when they had their first child together, Shiloh, the world went into a frenzy. People released the first picture of the newborn and sold 2.2 million copies.

Jennifer Lopez’s Twins

Jennifer Lopez had it all: beauty, fame, and fortune. However, she wasn’t so lucky with love. After two failed engagements, she finally found it with Marc Anthony - at least for a few years.

The two welcomed twins Max and Emme in 2008. People paid Lopez a whopping $8 million for the exclusive, so we can’t imagine how much money the magazine actually made in the end.

Caitlyn Jenner

Vanity Fair’s issue covering Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out as transgender was definitely the magazine cover of the decade. Rumors about the Olympic athlete’s circulated for over a year, and the magazine finally confirmed it.

Caitlyn was praised for her bravery as one of the very few celebrities who have come out as transgender. Surprisingly, she didn’t make any money off of it, as Vanity Fair doesn’t pay people for interviews.

Britney Spears’ First Child

We all know now that the beginning of Britney Spears’ downfall began when she married Kevin Federline in 2004. The couple had their first child together, Sean Preston, in 2005.

People were shocked to see how quickly the pop princess settled down and had children with Federline. Two years later, Spears’ public meltdowns began to take place. This was arguably the last magazine cover where Britney seemed happy.

Khloe Kardashian & Lamar Odom’s Wedding

Khloe Kardashian stepped out of sister Kim’s shadow for the first time when it was revealed that she was marrying basketball player Lamar Odom after just two months of dating.

Because the Kardashians love to capitalize on their private lives, the wedding was televised, and the pictures were sold to OK! Magazine. People thought they wouldn’t last, but they were together for seven years.

Madonna At Home

Madonna is still one of the biggest music stars in the world, but back in the 1980s, she was everywhere. The young popstar skyrocketed to fame thanks to her extravagant performances and catchy songs.

When Madonna welcomed Vogue into her home for an interview, she showed a very normal, intimate side of herself that people weren’t used to seeing. This caused the magazine’s sales to increase by 40%

Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon’s Wedding

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon’s wedding was a huge deal in the media because it took place secretly. The couple managed to keep it under wraps for two months, which in the celebrity world is a long time.

They sold the exclusive to People for $2 million. The photos of the secret wedding were a huge success, and the magazine sold 1 million copies.

Brangelina’s Twins

If you thought Brangelina’s first child was big news, then you can’t imagine how the world reacted when Hollywood’s most famous couple announced that they were expecting twins.

When twins Vivienne and Knox were born in 2008, People magazine paid the lucky parents $14 million for the exclusive photos. The issue sold an estimated 3 million copies.

Meghan Markle As Editor Of Vogue

Since Meghan Markle began dating Prince Harry, the British media has been all over her. When she guest-edited the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, the magazine experienced a spike in sales.

Although Markle wasn’t on the cover, the fact that she served as an editor for the issue made it the fastest-selling edition of the decade. Within ten days, all copies were sold out.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is now one of the most powerful people in the world thanks to his genius creation: Facebook. He is currently worth $92 billion, a number that will continue to increase as the years go by.

In 2010, he was TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. The cover featured Zuckerberg looking straight into the camera, and his big blue eyes pierced through your soul as you stared into them. This is arguably one of the most famous covers ever done by the magazine.

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West’s Wedding

Kim Kardashian’s wedding with Kris Humphries was already big news, but when she divorced him and started dating Kanye West, she became even more famous than she already was.

Kimye tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in 2014. People magazine got the exclusive and sold over 1.5 million copies. This boosted the magazine’s sales, naturally.

Michael Jackson's Death

The world was shocked when Michael Jackson suddenly passed away on June 25, 2009. Although his life was full of controversies and newsworthy moments, his death was arguably the most talked-about event of all.

The King of Pop changed the music game forever and paved the way for thousands of artists who came after him. But, just as his music did so much good for the world, his private life was quite the opposite.

Mohammed Ali

Mohammed Ali, the greatest boxer of all time, was also fearless outside of the ring. In 1968, he agreed to pose for Esquire in a photoshoot that would end up being extremely controversial with the public.

He was dressed to look like St. Sebastian and had fake arrows sticking out of his chest. This use of religious imagery upset many people, while others were impressed by the creativity of the photoshoot. The magazine sold 1.8 million copies.

Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples. The two actors were madly in love with each other, and the public was in love with them.

The couple appeared in ten movies together over the course of their 50-year marriage. After a six-year break, the couple starred together in 1969’s Winning. Screen Stories got the exclusive with a very romantic picture of the pair on the cover, and it became legendary.

Elizabeth Taylor’s Death

It was hard for many people to say goodbye to the iconic Elizabeth Taylor when she passed away in 2011. Her life story was so interesting that people are still talking about it to this day.

The fact that TV Guide sold 1.8 million copies of an issue about Taylor’s life in 2015, four years after her death, speaks volumes of her impact on pop culture.

Matthew McConaughey & Camila Alves’ Child

It seemed like Matthew McConaughey would never settle down but then, less than a year after he started dating Brazilian model Camila Alves, the couple had their first baby.

This, of course, was big news. OK! Magazine got the exclusive for $3 million and sold over 1 million copies. Although people were skeptical about their relationship, the two are still together to this day.

Eva Longoria & Tony Parker’s Wedding

Back when Desperate Housewives was still on the air, Eva Longoria was one of the biggest stars around. When she married NBA player Tony Parker, everyone wanted the exclusive.

OK! Magazine paid $2 million for this privilege and published a whole photo album of the luxurious ceremony. The couple divorced three years later.

The Passion Of Kanye West

Whenever an artist compares themselves to a deity, controversy is sparked. Kanye West was no exception. This Rolling Stone magazine cover was one of many similar moments the rapper had.

This cover, however, was not only in reference to the passion of Jesus Christ, but also to another famous cover we've already mentioned: Mohammed Ali for Esquire.

Kim Kardashian On Paper Magazine

Kim Kardashian always manages to do something controversial to be the talk of the town, but this time, all she did was pose in a clever way for Paper Magazine. Still, this photo managed to break the internet.

The fact that she was balancing a champagne glass on her butt somehow upset many people, while others loved the cover for its creativity. Either way, this cover got 34 million views online.

Adolf Hitler Named 'Man Of The Year'

You must be wondering why in the world would Adolf Hitler, of all people, be on the cover of Time magazine as 'Man of the Year.' The thing is, this wasn't meant as an honor.

Time founder Henry Luce explained that the distinction applied to the man who influenced the news the most, for better or worse. When you think about it, it's true: nobody got more attention in 1939 than Hitler himself. This attention, however, was drawn to him for his horrific deeds.

Princess Diana’s Death

Princess Diana was all over the media during the 1990s. She was arguably the most talked-about figure back in the day and, no matter what she was doing, paparazzi followed her everywhere.

When she tragically passed away in a car accident in 1997, the world was in shock. People Magazine released a tribute to the late royal after her passing and sold 3.1 million copies in the US only.

Marilyn Monroe On Playboy

The very first cover of Playboy featured the one and only Marilyn Monroe. The blonde diva embodied everything that playboy stood for, so she was the perfect candidate for the cover.

However, contrary to popular belief, Marilyn never posed for Playboy, and the magazine just bought her pictures from someone else. The nude photos of the actress had been taken before she was famous when she was desperate to make some cash.