Rihanna headlines the Super Bowl LVII halftime show

Rihanna, who said she turned down an offer to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2019 because of Colin Kaepernick’s hosting, will headline the Super Bowl LVII halftime show in February, the NFL announced Sunday.

After rumors that negotiations to sign the singer were moving forward, Rihanna announced on Instagram with a simple picture of herself holding an NFL football against a stark white background. Shortly after, the NFL made it official in an announcement along with Apple Music and Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by Jay-Z.

Super Bowl Feb. 12, 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Rihanna confirmed to Vogue in 2019 that she turned down the opportunity to appear on the global stage offered by the game.

“Absolutely,” she said. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who benefits from this? Not my people. I can’t be a salesman. I can’t be an enforcer. There are things within that system that I don’t agree with, and I don’t want to go and serve them in any way.

Cardi B also turned down the offer, with Maroon 5 headlining the show instead.

Rihanna also criticized President Donald Trump, who ripped the league for not disciplining players like Kaepernick who kneeled during the national anthem to protest social injustice and police brutality. Since then, spurred by the murder of George Floyd, among other incidents, the NFL has evolved with a commissioner. Roger Goodell says in August 2020“I wish we had asked earlier” gesture from Kaepernick and others.

Jay-Z hailed Rihanna as a “generational talent, a woman with humble beginnings who exceeded expectations at every turn” in the NFL’s announcement. Born on the small island of Barbados, he became one of the most famous artists of all time. Self-made in business and entertainment.

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Roc Nation, which entered into a long-term relationship with the NFL in 2019 to advise on programming, will serve as strategic entertainment advisor for his performance. Although he hasn’t released an album since 2016, he has announced that new works are on the way.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage,” Seth Tudowski, NFL’s head of music, said in the announcement. “Rihanna is a generational artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career. We look forward to bringing fans another historic halftime show with Rihanna, Roc Nation and Apple Music.

Apple’s Oliver Schusser echoed that. “Rihanna is an incredible recording artist who is a favorite of millions of Apple Music customers around the world. We’re thrilled to team up with Rihanna, Roc Nation and the NFL to bring music and sports fans an important show — what an incredible artist at the inaugural Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show.”

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. at the February 2022 Super Bowl. A lineup of musicians including Blige and Kendrick Lamar were featured.

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