Ciara Says Her Daughter Was Inspiration Behind ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue’ Cover (Exclusive)

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For Ciara, getting to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2022 Issue has been a dream nearly two decades in the making. Now, as the mom of a 5-year-old daughter, Sienna, the opportunity means even more.

The 36-year-old songstress walked the red carpet at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue launch party at the Hard Rock Hotel Times Square in New York City on Thursday, and she spoke with ET about her inspiration behind being on the cover.

"I always think about my daughter, you know?" Ciara shared "I always think that when she gets to see me in moments like this, she can see herself and have something to look forward to or believe in, and to have hope in."

When it comes to the advice Ciara hopes to bestow upon her little girl, the singer explained her guiding motto: "Never give up."

"You know, the craziest thing is I started my career 18 years ago... and I think about that journey since my Goodies album, I think about all the things I aspired to achieve and this is one of those moments," she shared. "And18 years later. Right? So, my point is you can't stop believing."

"It's like the moment you want to give up is when you have to take that extra step, push forward and believe even harder because dreams really do come true," she added. "Things really do happen when you don't stop believing."

Ciara was joined at the launch party by her husband, NFL star Russell Wilson, and the pair were all smiles as they posed for photos on the press line.

Russell Wilson and Ciara
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

"I feel blessed you know he's always there cheering me on and he makes me feel that much more confident in myself," Ciara told ET of Wilson's outspoken love and support. "You know, I'm a confident lady, I must say, but it feels good to be loved like that. It inspires me, and he's the best."

The pair share their daughter, as well as their 1-year-old son, Win, and Ciara's 8-year-old son, Future, from a previous relationship.

Ciara is one of four celebrities who will grace different variant covers of this year's SI Swimsuit issue, alongside Kim Kardashian, Yumi Nu and Elon Musk's mother, Maye Musk.

"I think MJ Day, the editor-in-chief [of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue] had an incredible vision for what she wanted to do. She wanted to push boundaries and speak to every woman possible in the world, and I am all for that," Ciara shared. "I was so excited to be a part of this great time and journey that the magazine is on. It's somewhat, you can kind of say, a little bit historic if you think about it."

"I still have to pinch myself," Ciara explained. "Throughout this whole week, it's been like, 'Is this really happening?' And the love has been insane. It's just been such an incredible and unforgettable experience. I'm super proud."

The 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue hits newsstands May 19.

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