Rihanna To Perform At Super Bowl LVII As Apple Music Halftime Act
Rihanna famously declined to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show, explaining to Vogue that she did so to show her support for former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was fired for protesting racism and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. “I just couldn’t be a sellout, I couldn’t be an enabler,” the singer said at the time.
The singer-turned-beauty-billionaire will now perform as the Apple Music halftime act for Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, which is expected to be watched by approximately 190 million people worldwide. “It was now or never for me,” Rihanna said in a recent interview. Every performer’s dream is to perform on such a massive stage as the Super Bowl.
Rihanna is making her musical comeback after a nearly six-year hiatus with this performance. In October, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, her first single since 2017. Despite the fact that she hasn’t released new music in over a year, the 34-year-old singer hasn’t been idle. The 34-year-old gave birth to her first child in May, and since launching Fenty Beauty with luxury goods giant LVMH six years ago, she has transformed it into one of the most inclusive and successful cosmetics brands in the industry, with a $2.8 billion valuation. In addition to a $125 million funding round in 2018, she debuted the lingerie line Savage X Fenty. Since then, the company has considered a $3 billion initial public offering. Rihanna’s businesses account for the vast majority of her estimated $1.4 billion fortune when totaled.
Rihanna will not be compensated for her Super Bowl halftime performance, as is customary for headliners.
Despite the fact that superstars such as Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and Lady Gaga are not paid, they stand to benefit greatly from the show’s massive audience exposure. This year, at least 192 million spectators are expected. Put it down to the halftime show’s influence: For example, when Lady Gaga performed in 2017, Billboard reported a 100 percent increase in album and song sales, and Jennifer Lopez gained 2.3 million new social media followers after she and Shakira headlined in 2020.
Last year’s event featured performances by hip-hop legends Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and 50 Cent, and their combined discographies benefited from the exposure. Dr. Dre’s album sales increased by 183% and his on-demand streams increased by 105% in the week following the Super Bowl, according to Luminate data. Luminate reported that Blige’s album sales increased by 999 percent during that time period, while Snoop Dogg’s increased by 361 percent. Even after the big game, the production received praise: it was nominated for five Emmys and won three, including Best Live Variety Special at a Super Bowl halftime show for the first time ever.
Rihanna, who has nearly 250 million Twitter and Instagram followers, will use her Super Bowl performance to reconnect with her fans after years away from the stage. (She did appear in a music video with A$AP Rocky that was released in May of 2022). This is Jay-latest Z’s collaboration with the NFL, as he and his Roc Nation label were named the league’s official Live Music Entertainment Strategists in 2019.
The halftime show, like the commercials during the Super Bowl, is an expensive production that can easily exceed $10 million. According to a source close to Dr. Dre, the rapper and producer spent around $7 million on his show last year, and The Weeknd spent $7 million of his own money to ensure that his 2021 halftime show fit his vision. An NFL representative confirmed to Musical States that the league and Apple Music would pay for Rihanna’s performance, similar to the league’s previous longtime sponsor Pepsi.
If Rihanna is investing her own money in the show, her representatives are keeping quiet about it. Despite Musical States’ requests for comment, neither Roc Nation nor Apple Music have responded.
“I get involved with every aspect of anything that I do,” Rihanna said at a press conference on Thursday before the game. I want to read all of the website copy for the Super Bowl, a new cosmetics line, Savage underwear, and so on. “I want to give each and every lipstick I make a name,” the CEO once said. “My name has to stand by that,” he said, regardless of the outcome.
Fenty Beauty and Savage X Fenty are also expected to do well at Sunday’s show. The performance takes place just before Valentine’s Day, a crucial holiday for the lingerie industry. Both companies have released special “game day” collections that include football-themed items such as sweatshirts, t-shirts that read “Rihanna concert interrupted by a football game, weird but whatever,” lipsticks, and even a makeup sponge shaped like a football.
Rihanna joked at the press conference that the Fenty highlighter helped her focus better during rehearsals. “I haven’t slept yet,” simply put.
However, Rihanna’s music will be the focus of the show on Sunday. “This show is going to be a celebration of my catalogue, the best way we can put it together,” she said before the show. You’re attempting to summarise 17 years of work in 13 minutes. It could foreshadow future events. Fans are hoping that the singer will confirm rumours of a tour this Sunday, which would be her first public appearance since 2016.
Nonetheless, Rihanna’s fans may need to temper their excitement.
She explained that it’s one thing for the Super Bowl. “New music is a whole different ballgame,” the author says.
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