Rihanna is set to perform at the NFL’s Super Bowl Halftime in February next year. This would mark the Roc Nation artist’s first public performance since giving birth earlier this year.
Rihanna’s return to the music stage is also an important milestone for the NFL as it ushers in its new sponsorship deal with Apple Music. The Halftime show was previously sponsored by Pepsi. The show is scheduled for February 12 in Glendale, Arizona.
“We’re excited to partner with Rihanna, Roc Nation and the NFL to bring music and sports fans a momentous show,” Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president for Apple Music and Beats, said.
The Halftime Show appearance would be the first time in four years since Rihanna performed publicly. Her last performance was at the Grammy Awards in 2018, as the singer’s appearances decreased over the years after the launch of her Fenty Beauty brand in 2017.
In the meantime, the Halftime Show is being produced by Jay-Z and Roc Nation after the two signed a deal for the rapper to be its live music entertainment strategist. Jay-Z’s employment came after the NFL received backlash following the Colin Kaepernick controversy that saw him being dropped by teams in the NFL. There was consequently a boycott from artists in support of the quarterback who made headlines for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against African-Americans.
Under the management of Jay-Z, the Halftime show has significantly grown in stature, with the show earning an Emmy award for the 2022 staging that saw hip hop icons Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, singer Mary J. Blige, and Eminem.
Eminem also showed support for Kaepernick’s protest when he kneeled after performing his track, “Lose Yourself,” which was approved by NFL officials.
In his statement on Rihanna’s upcoming Super Bowl halftime performance, Jay-Z calls the Bajan singer a once in a generation talent.
“Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn,” the Roc Nation founder 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.”
Rihanna recently welcomed her first child, a baby boy, with her boyfriend A$AP Rocky. She is under pressure from her fans to release new music. It will be interesting to see her song lineup for the Super Bowl since she has a vast catalog of mega hits. RiRi has not released any new solo music since 2016 and has been rumored to be working on her ninth album since around 2019.