With one post on Instagram, multi-platinum and multi GRAMMY award singer, songwriter, and business owner Rihanna confirmed the speculation and rumors that she will headline the Super Bowl LVII halftime show which will emanate from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
“Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn. A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment,” said Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter in a statement.
Even though Rihanna has not released an album since 2016, the lifestyle influencer, icon and business owner, Robyn Rihanna Fenty has a following in the hundreds of millions. Previously, Rihanna was offered to headline the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show in Atlanta, however she turned it down while showing solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback began peacefully protesting for racial justice by kneeling during the “Star-Spangled Banner” at games in 2016. Kaepernick left the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, and would later win a case against the league when it black-balled him in retaliation for his activism.
“I couldn’t dare do that,” the beauty mogul and musical artist said in an interview with Vogue. “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.”
Moreover, this is the first year Apple Music will be a sponsor for the halftime show, replacing Pepsi. The move prompted fans and prognosticators alike to wonder if Taylor Swift would be involved in the show due to her relationship with Coca-Cola, Pepsi’s biggest rival coupled with her vast fan base.
“Rihanna is an incredible recording artist who is a favorite for many millions of Apple Music customers around the world,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with Rihanna, Roc Nation and the NFL to bring music and sports fans a momentous show — what an incredible artist for the inaugural Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show.”
Additionally, the NFL was seeking higher sponsorship fees for companies looking to be affiliated with the mini-event. According to reports Apple Music will replace Pepsi as sponsor in a deal that the NFL had been shopping around for about $50 million, according to a report published by The New York Times.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage,” said Seth Dudowsky, NFL Head of Music in a statement. “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.”
The game will be broadcast on FOX on Sunday, February 12, 2023.