She previously turned down the opportunity in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Rihanna will take the stage at the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show, putting Taylor Swift rumors to rest and giving a huge swathe of people a reason to tune in. Officially the 2023 Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show now that Pepsi has ended its partnership with the NFL, Rihanna will perform on Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium outside of Phoenix, Arizona.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage,” Seth Dudowsky, head of music at the NFL, said 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.”
In a past Vogue interview, Ri revealed that she had been approached before, but turned down the chance to perform because she didn't align with how the NFL treated quarterback Colin Kaepernick after he knelt during the national anthem.
“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," she said in 2019. 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.”
Rihanna hasn't shared what made her change her mind.
Jay-Z echoed Dudowsky's sentiments, adding that RiRi is a self-made businesswoman.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Super Bowl performances are known for their unexpected cameos, like Katy Perry enlisting Missy Elliott as well as a dancer in a shark costume and Beyoncé sharing the stage with Coldplay (sorry Coldplay fans, but you can't argue with that one). There's no word on who will join Bad Gal Riri on stage just yet.
The 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show brought together Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent. Past performers include Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, The Weeknd, and Lady Gaga, as well as Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Shania Twain.