Rolling Stone's 5 Most Controversial Covers

Rolling Stone's decision to feature Dzokhar Tsarnaev (the Boston Bomber) on the cover of its August 1st issue may have been a questionable one, but it's hardly out of character for the button-pushing biweekly. Here are 5 other Rolling Stone covers that stirred up controversy at the newsstand.

Megastar or Monster?

Rolling Stone's decision to feature Dzokhar Tsarnaev (the Boston Bomber) on the cover of its August 1st issue may have been a questionable one, but it's hardly out of character for the button-pushing biweekly. Here are 5 other Rolling Stone covers that stirred up controversy at the newsstand.

Charles Manson: June 1970

This 1970 cover was widely criticized for humanizing the renowned serial killer, who was already well on his way towards becoming an American celebrity. Charles Manson reportedly agreed to be interviewed for the award-winning cover story "because he wanted his album plugged."

Britney Spears: March 1999

The Rolling Stone's cover has known its fair share scantily-clad ladies (and gents for that matter), but Spears was just 17-years-old when she posed for photographer David LaChapelle in this satiny scene. The pop star's antics may have become more scandalous over the years, but this suggestive cover was one of the first hints that the bubblegum pop start was "not that innocent" after all.

The Cast of True Blood: September 2010

Outraged readers were out for blood when this revealing cover hit stands. Inside, the actors' interviews were just as racy, covering topics like tongue rings, virginal blood, and the not-so-subtle metaphorical meaning of fang penetration.

Kanye West: February 2006

The self-proclaimed "Yeezus" has clearly never been shy about using religious imagery in reference to himself, but this cover (which pays homage to a classic Esquire issue featuring Mohammed Ali) still had Christian groups up in arms. Maybe they didn't like the part of the interview when West revealed his personal cross to bear: an addiction to porn.

John Lennon & Yoko Ono: January 1981

Photographer Annie Leibovitz remembers asking both Lennon and Ono to strip down for this shot, but only Lennon felt comfortable doing so. The result was more sweet than sexy, but was still deemed inappropriate by many. The image is made all the more beautifully haunting by the fact that it was taken just hours before Lennon was shot and killed outside of his Manhattan apartment.