Raine Michaels, daughter of American musician Bret Michaels, made her SI Swimsuit debut in 2019 as part of the year’s Swim Search, the annual open casting call. She traveled to Paradise Island, Bahamas for her feature in the magazine.
In a beautiful series of photos taken by photographer Yu Tsai, she proved that she is a talented model. But she’s much more than that, too. At the time, Michaels was a full-time college student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., where she studied music—a fitting pursuit for the daughter of a rockstar.
While on set, we had the chance to catch up with her about the Swim Search experience among other things, and she gave good insight into what the process had meant to her. “I have had so many amazing and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities arise from this incredible experience,” she remarked. “I also have a forever family in everyone at Sports Illustrated and all my Swim Search girls that I have met along the way.”
The now 23-year-old received a lot of love from family and friends following the announcement, which made the experience just that much sweeter. “My close friends at school know I have been working so hard since they met me and have watched this journey unfold and they are so happy and excited for me which makes me so grateful,” she explained of their support.
Today, we’re throwing it back to that momentous photoshoot and the snaps that we just haven’t quite gotten over. Here are a few of our favorites.