Stephen A. Smith Apologizes to Rihanna for Beyoncé Comparison: ‘You’re a Superstar’


On Wednesday, Stephen A. Smith backtracked from his earlier comparison of Rihanna and Beyoncé (Jan. 18).

During his visit to Sherri Shepherd’s talk show, the outspoken sports analyst brought up the “Needed Me” singer’s upcoming performance at Super Bowl LVII’s halftime show. Ladies and gentlemen, she is many things; she is magnificent in fact. She’s not Beyoncé, that’s for sure.

Hours after the interview aired, Smith went on Instagram ready to eat crow after the inappropriate comparison prompted an audible outcry from the studio audience and anger from Rihanna’s supporters on social media. He declared, “I’m going to own it.” “I get what y’all are shootin’ for. The fact that I make my living as a public speaker, though, means that I need to be more circumspect.

The ESPN host went on, telling Rihanna, “I want you to know: You are a superstar, you are wonderful, you are spectacular.” There’s no laughing at you. You deserve to be performing in the Super Bowl halftime show, and you will do an excellent job.

Then, in an attempt to defend his remark, Smith claimed that Shepherd’s inquiry was inappropriate because of the preponderance of women in the studio audience. He finally said, “I’m a Beyoncé lover now.” When it comes to live performances, in my opinion, Beyoncé is not only one of the greatest of all time, but the greatest of all time. The only reason anyone even thought to compare Beyoncé to anyone else was because she did two distinct halftime shows at the Super Bowl, one with Bruno Mars and the other with Coldplay. Both of those performances were among the best I’ve ever witnessed.Stephen A. Smith Apologizes To Rihanna For 'She Ain't Beyoncé' Comment -  AllHipHop

He finally summed up his point by saying, “So what I’m saying is anybody needs to measure up to it.” The previous year, I was all “Bruno Mars! Beyoncé! Coldplay!” after hearing Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Mary J., and Eminem. A lot! They should be able to reach that standard. Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, and Beyoncé by themselves are the only acts I will ever consider for the Super Bowl halftime show. It doesn’t matter if Michael Jackson is dead or living, my standard is “it’s gotta measure up to that.”


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