Rihanna has confirmed she will headline the Super Bowl 2023 halftime show next February, marking her first time headlining the event.
In addition to a statement released by Halftime Show executive producers Roc Nation, Rihanna herself confirmed the news in a post to her Instagram earlier today (Sunday September 25), sharing a photo of an NFL-branded football.
Roc Nation founder Jay-Z called Rihanna “a generational talent”. “[She is] A woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn,” the rapper said. “A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment.”
NFL Head of Music Seth Dudowsky said they were “thrilled” to welcome Rihanna as the Halftime Show’s headliner. “Rihanna is a once-in-a-generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career,” Dudowsky said. “We look forward to collaborating with Rihanna, Roc Nation and Apple Music to bring fans another historic Halftime Show performance.”
The Super Bowl LVII takes place on February 12, 2023, at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. It will be the first year that Apple Music will serve as a sponsor for the halftime show, replacing the NFL’s long-time partner, Pepsi.
Announced by the NFL last week at midnight (via Variety), the new partnership prompted speculation that Taylor Swift – whose forthcoming album is called ‘Midnight’ – was being considered as a potential headliner.
Those rumours were later reported to be false, Swift said to have turned down the offer because she “didn’t want to perform until she finished re-recording all of her first six albums”.
In 2018, Rihanna was offered the chance to headline the 2019 Halftime Show. She turned the offer down in a bid to show solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who was the first NFL player to take a knee in protest against police brutality in 2016.