For 47 years, music fans have looked to Rolling Stone as the primary source for edgy and flamboyant reporting that pushes limits and goes where no other publication dares. The articles are always challenging and thought-provoking, but it’s their bold and often-controversial covers that are forever burned into our memory.
From outlandish illustrations to stark portraits, these images comment on sensitive subjects like presidential elections, terrorism, drugs, and (of course) nudity. They’ve put the nails on the “good girl” coffins of stars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Miley Cyrus. They’ve pinned rap superstars Kanye West and 50 Cent against each other, and sexualized teen shows like Glee and Gossip Girl. They’ve put the spotlight on monsters who have hurt this country, and those who have been sacrificed to help it.
Other magazine covers have started buzz here and there, but RS covers never fail in making jaws drop. Hop into the gallery above to see what we mean, and how these covers altered the image of countless pop culture icons.