Superstar and Fenty mogul, Rihanna is making a comeback after her maternity leave.
The Hollywood Reporter announced that Rihanna had been tapped as the main act of the legendary halftime show for Super Bowl LVII.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage,” Seth Dudowsky, NFL’s Head of Music, 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.”
The event, which will be sponsored by Apple Music instead of Pepsi for the first time in a decade, is scheduled to take place on February 12, 2023 at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Rihanna confirmed the news on Instagram with a cryptic image of her own hand holding an NFL football. The NFL also changed their social media bios to read “National Fenty League.”
Rihanna’s confirmation threw her fans into a frenzy, as she has not released new music since Anti, which came out in 2016.
For years now, Rih’s focus has been on her entrepreneurial ventures — including her Fenty Beauty line, Savage X Fenty, and her short-lived high fashion line with LVMH. She’s been busy, and is now even busier — this past spring, she welcomed a baby boy with boyfriend A$AP Rocky.
Rihanna’s 2023 Super Bowl announcement has drawn criticism from some online, with a few pointing to her 2019 comments on Vogue, admitting that she had turned down an offer to perform at that year’s halftime show.
In the 2019 interview, she revealed that she had turned down an offer to headline at the Super Bowl because of the organization’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick, who settled a case against the league for ostracizing him from playing in retaliation for his social justice activism.
“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”, she said then.
This week’s latest announcement poises new questions, What made Rihanna change her mind, and what will she be performing come February? Does this mean new music is finally on the way?