With Rihanna’s long-term absence from the stage, it came as a surprise to many that the Grammy-winning singer will have her return to live performances at the Superbowl this year as the first artist under the NFL’s new deal with apple music.
Considering Rihanna’s last public performance was at The Grammy awards in 2018, the reappearance of the widely beloved musician is sure to bring additional viewers to one of the world’s most highly viewed events. For Rhianna fans all over the world, her concert at the Superbowl may be the only reason that they tune into the game whatsoever.
“We’re excited to partner with Rihanna, Roc Nation, and the N.F.L. to bring music and sports fans a momentous show,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president for Apple Music and Beats. Not only should executives be excited over the upcoming months, but NFL and Rihanna fans can also expect to see advertisements and exclusive deals abound as this year’s halftime show is seemingly going to be an event for the ages.
Some may consider it strange that Rihanna is performing for the NFL. When Colin Kaepernick, an ex-NFL quarterback who became famous for protesting police brutality, began speaking out against his own league, Rihanna was in support of his efforts.
He has since accused the NFL of blackballing him in his attempts to be signed by a team since his 2017 release by the San Francisco 49ers. While Kaepernick has still yet to be signed by the NFL and their blackballing of him continues, it seems that Rihanna’s protest of the league has come to an end.
The last Superbowl Halftime Show was headlined by Snoop Dog, Mary J. Blige, and Dr. Dre. Through this, it is evident that the NFL has begun looking to bring on artists who support the African American community to their halftime shows. In addition, last year Eminem took a knee during his performance.
The taking of the knee during the national anthem was popularized by Kaepernick and was the reason that he was released from his team in the first place. This demonstration by Eminem was in direct conflict with the actions taken by the league but he was allowed to do so and remain unpunished.
Rihanna’s performance will be one to watch. In addition, the artists that Rihanna selects to perform beside her will be interesting. In the past few years, Rihanna has collaborated with a variety of artists including Jay-Z, A$Ap Rocky, Drake, and Kanye West. Whether these artists are the ones she chooses to perform alongside her is yet to be seen. In years past, some of the artists chosen to perform with headliners have come out of nowhere such as Kendrick Lamar performing with Snoop Dog, Mary J. Blige, and Dr. Dre last year.
As with any year, the halftime show may undergo some significant changes in the long months leading up to February. But with Riri at the helm of this year’s performance, it is sure to be memorable.
Published by HOLR Magazine.