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“It’s On”: Rihanna to Headline 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

She’s back. Rihanna is set to headline the halftime show for next year’s Super Bowl. The pop icon hinted at her performance through an Instagram post of her tatted hand holding a football on Sunday. Apple Music, who will replace the previous Super Bowl sponsor of Pepsi, then confirmed the news later that day with a tweet reading, “It’s on.” The star’s show will mark her first live performance in over five years.

Super Bowl 57 will take place on Feb. 12, 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game and halftime show are highly anticipated events and usually bring in a number of views. This year’s game, featuring the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, brought in a total of 208 million views. The halftime show consisted of a hip-hop mix with legends Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent. The show found success past the Super Bowl performance when it made history by winning Outstanding Live Variety Special at the 2022 Emmy Awards earlier this month. 

Previous Super Bowl headliners include Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber and many more recognizable names. Rihanna joining this list of celeb headliners has come as a surprise for music lovers and fans considering she turned down this offer in the past. 

When offered the position in 2019, Rihanna declined in support of former NFL quarterback, Colin Kapernick, and his controversial protest of him taking a knee during the national anthem in light of police brutality and racial injustice. Later that year, Vogue released an interview with Rihanna where she stated that she “couldn’t be a sellout… couldn’t be an enabler” and that she “couldn’t dare do that” to her people. The 2019 show was instead headlined by the band Maroon 5, whose lead singer, Adam Levine, has recently faced backlash due to his viral cheating scandal. 

Rihanna has already received much praise and excitement for her headlining gig as other artists come forward to commend her on her previous work. Among those have been Jay-Z, calling Rihanna a “generational talent,” and previous headliner Dr. Dre saying she has “the opportunity to blow us away” as he shared his excitement for the upcoming show. 

It is unknown whether the singer has picked any guests to perform the show with her. Inside sources say anyone she’s collaborated with in the past is fair game to be seen at the show, including Kanye West, Calvin Harris, Drake, Pharrell and more. The star’s boyfriend, A$AP Rocky, was even a name thrown in the mix as the two have been seen in the recording studio together. Even Taylor Swift was discussed as a possible headliner or guest, though sources say she has no plans to take the Super Bowl stage until she has finished rerecording the rest of her old albums. 

Regardless of if Rihanna brings in guests or does her show solo, she has high expectations to meet following this year’s show, which has been dubbed “one of the best of all time.”

Rihanna’s most recent album, Anti, was released back in 2016 and since then the singer has shifted priorities to her widely successful cosmetic brand Fenty Beauty and her lingerie line, Savage X Fenty. The star has been estimated at a net worth of $1.4 billion, which caused her to come in at No. 21 on Forbes’ annual list of America’s top self-made women. To add to her list of achievements, Rihanna has won nine Grammy Awards and several Billboard Music Awards. 

Along with her fame and successful brands, Rihanna recently became a mother as she welcomed her baby boy into the world in May with her rapper boyfriend, A$AP Rocky. With Rihanna’s return to music, fans are hoping that she will finally drop a new album, which she was said to have been working on this year according to Vogue.

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Hi, my name is Emily and I'm an Editing, Writing, and Media major at FSU. When I'm not in class, you can find me at a coffee shop on my 3rd cup of coffee. I also love reading, dancing, and anything related to music!