International recording superstar and business mogul Rihanna will be performing at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show. The Bajan singer took to her Instagram and posted a photo of her hand holding a football with a period as the caption. This is what Jay-Z’s Roc Nation deal with the NFL was always about. Bringing the biggest artists in the world to the biggest sports stage, at least in America.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) September 25, 2022
The “Work” singer’s last album, “Anti,” was released in 2016, and her fans have been clamoring for new music ever since. Rihanna is a Roc Nation artist, so showcasing any new music on the Super Bowl stage makes a lot of sense. But even if she doesn’t release new music, Ri can just do a set with her biggest hits.
This isn’t the first time Ri has been identified as someone to headline the Super Bowl halftime show. She turned down the NFL in 2019 for Super Bowl LIII due to the league’s blackball of Colin Kaepernick. In an interview with Vogue she said it was done in solidarity.
“Absolutely,” she says. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
Kaepernick and the NFL reached a settlement in February 2019, and it has been three years since. Maybe Ri thinks enough time has passed and she’s ready to perform on the Super Bowl stage.
Taylor Swift was rumored to be the headliner for Super Bowl LVII but she passed. Swift has expressed interest in headlining but won’t do so until she rerecords her six early albums. Swift is rerecording her earlier albums because this will allow her to own the masters for those recordings.
While Swift won’t be a part of the festivities, Ri is certainly a name that will generate huge buzz.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage,” said Seth Dudowsky, NFL Head of Music. “Rihanna is a once in a generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career. We look forward to collaborating with Rihanna, Roc Nation and Apple Music to bring fans another historic Halftime Show performance.”
Apple Music has taken over as the new sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show from Pepsi beginning with the 2023 game. The terms of the deal were not released, but many analysts have suggested the league would earn at least $50 million per year for the rights.
Over 120 million viewers watched last February’s halftime show, which featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar.