The Super Bowl 2023 halftime show will include Rihanna as the show’s headliner act for the first time, it has been announced.
Rihanna herself confirmed the news in a post to her Instagram earlier today (Sunday, September 25), uploading a picture of an NFL-branded football. The announcement was also made by Roc Nation, the producers of the Halftime Show.
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Jay-Z, the owner of Roc Nation, phoned Rihanna: “a generational talent”. “[She is] A woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn,” the rapper said. “A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment.”
Seth Dudowsky, the head of music for the NFL, expressed his team’s “thrill” at having Rihanna perform at the Halftime Show. “Rihanna is a once-in-a-generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career,” Dudowsky said. “We look forward to collaborating with Rihanna, Roc Nation, and Apple Music to bring fans another historic Halftime Show performance.”
On February 12, 2023, the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona will host the Super Bowl LVII. In place of the NFL’s longtime sponsor, Pepsi, Apple Music will be the halftime show’s sponsor for the first time this season.
The new arrangement, which was revealed by the NFL last week at midnight (via Variety), sparked rumors that Taylor Swift, whose upcoming album is titled “Midnight,” was being considered as a potential headliner.
Later, it was revealed that the rumors were untrue; instead, Swift said that she declined the invitation because she “didn’t want to perform until she finished re-recording all of her first six albums.”
Rihanna received an invitation to perform as the halftime show’s headlining act in 2018. She declined the chance to support former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who became the first NFL player to kneel in 2016 in opposition to police violence.
Rihanna hasn’t launched an album since her eighth studio album, “Anti,” was released in 2016. The performer hasn’t had a live performance since she attended the 2018 Grammy Awards.
Dr. Dre was the headlining act at the Super Bowl the year before, and special guests included Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, and Mary J. Blige.