Omar Reyes/Landov
Alex Heigl
January 21, 2014 02:45 PM

Emily Ratajkowski was pretty much an unknown until her appearance in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video in 2013.

The song was one of the year’s inescapable hits, and the video – notably featuring a topless Ratajkowski – has been viewed more than 257 million times.

Such a reaction has led many to speculate that Sports Illustrated would be featuring Ratajkowski in its 50th anniversary swimsuit issue, which hits newsstands Feb. 11.

In December, veteran SI swimsuit-issue editor MJ Day posted Instagrams of a brunette model on a tropical shoot, though stopped short of identifying Ratajkowski.

PHOTOS: Whoa! Check Out These Bikinis (and Bikini Bodies)

Coincidentally, the same day editor Day was Instagramming maybe-Ratajkowski, the model herself put up a photo from some tropical location, saying she’d arrived in “paradise.”

This prompted photographer Dax Balladares to Tweet a possible spoiler at Ratajkowski.

@emrata congrats on SI

dax balladares (@ledax) December 5, 2013

NBC and Time Inc. have partnered to present a two-hour TV special celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sports Illustrated‘s swimsuit franchise – one of the most hotly-anticipated annual fixtures in American pop culture. “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful” is set to air on NBC, Monday, Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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