Rihanna is going to be headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show next year in Arizona! The superstar, 34, confirmed reports that were making rounds earlier in the day with a simple — but powerful — post via her Instagram on Sunday, Sept. 25. Her tattooed hand was seen holding up an NFL branded football against a crisp white background in the image, alongside a caption with just a period. No further explanation was necessary as the Rihanna Navy (the nickname for her fans) and everyone else around the world immediately knew what the post meant, which was confirmed shortly thereafter by producers Roc Nation and the NFL Twitter accounts. “Let’s GO
@Rihanna @NFL #SBLVII @AppleMusic @NFLonFOx,” a tweet from Roc Nation — shared by the NFL — read.
The confirmation comes after she turned down the opportunity in 2019 as she stood in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people,” she said Vogue magazine months later. “I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There are 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.” Maroon 5 headlined that same year to lukewarm reviews.
Super Bowl LVII is set to take place on February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona — marking the fourth time Phoenix has hosted the legendary sporting event. The halftime show is also produced by Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation, which is the label Rihanna has been signed to since her debut way back in 2005 with “Pon De Replay.” Jay-Z has held the producer role with the NFL since 2019, overseeing Jennifer Lopez and Shakira‘s joint performance in 2020, The Weeknd in 2012as well as Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar‘s in 2022. Notably, this year marks the first time since 2013 that Pepsi is not the presenting sponsor — with Apple Music taking their place.
Ahead of Rihanna’s confirmation, reports were swirling that Taylor Swift would make her Super Bowl debut. The singer, 32, has already revealed she’s dropping a new album Midnights in October, making the reports more believable — but her rep confirmed that Taylor would not be adding the role of Halftime Show performer to her resume just yet via PEOPLE magazine. Other reports have suggested Swift opted to turn down the opportunity until she is finished with re-recording her original five albums. So far, she’s put out Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version)with her self-titled debut, 1989 and Reputation surely not far behind.
Taylor Swift super fans will also recall a musical connection with the Pennsylvania native and Rihanna: Taylor wrote the 2016 track “This Is What You Came For” with her then-boyfriend Calvin Harris under the Swedish sounding pseudonym Nils Sjöberg. The DJ produced the beat while Rihanna provided the lead vocals, with Taylor also credited on the song for back-up. Only time will tell, but a surprise appearance by Taylor to perform the song alongside Rihanna would be epic.