What Is Rihanna Being Paid For Super Bowl Halftime Show? Hint: Nothing!
After nearly a decade of evasion and hefty scores in the fashion-beauty industry, Rihanna is returning to the music scene this Sunday at the Super Bowl in what is probably the most anticipated Halftime Show of all time. The nine-time Grammy winner said in a February 9 Apple Music interview that fans can expect no less than the most meticulously selected glimpses into her career, and of course, an anthem to black womanhood and her Caribbean roots.
The Super Bowl is famous for headlining some of music’s biggest names, and past artists to take the stage include Beyonce, Lady Gaga and The Weeknd. The stakes are high, especially given what fans described as an agonizing absence by Rihanna, but the budgets might be even higher — though the game does not pay artists a dime to perform, it does cover all production costs, which can run up to millions of dollars per show.
Rihanna was invited to perform in 2019 but rejected the offer in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was blacklsited for kneeling in protest of police brutality and racial inequality.
While hesitant at first, asking herself if she should be making big performance decisions being then three-months postpartum in September 2022, she ultimately saw the Halftime Show as a collective mother-son opportunity of a lifetime. A source told Hollywood Reporter that she plans to have her child as an audience member amid the bleachers, with Rocky’s support.
“When you become a mom, there’s something that just happens where you feel like you could take on the world — you can do anything,” Rihanna told reporters in Arizona, crediting her seven-month old son with A$AP Rocky for her decision to take on what she called one of the most “exhilarating” but “scary” of challenges. “It’s important for my son to see that.”
For Rihanna, condensing her 17 years in the industry into a 13-minute set was a hurdle for her perfectionism, so much so that she allegedly even forgot about her upcoming 35th birthday on February 20 and Valentine’s Day, the first she will be spending with Rocky as a co-parent. Frequent rehearsals and changes, from song additions and removals to instrumental tweaks, have led up to tomorrow’s show at approximately 7:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST, which can be streamed via a free trial on fuboTV.
As for upcoming music and the album she had come a long way in suggesting, Rihanna chooses to let the Navy wallow in drumming anticipation for a bit longer, but did clue her fans into her continued evolution and experimentation in music, following critical life milestones such as motherhood. Though the numbers were slightly underperforming, her recent ballad track for Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever, Lift Me Up, received a Best Original Song nomination at the 80th Golden Globes, drawing fans into her more vulnerable sides while celebrating life in its simpler, more soulful hues.
Even with this growth, Rihanna affirmed that she forever carries some of the characteristics and lessons she learned at the very beginning of her career. In response to young fans’ questions in the Apple Music interview, she talked about the importance of humility, being down to earth and never losing sight of one’s humbler beginnings.
“I often fear the pedestal that the world can put you on, and I always want to feel my feet on the ground,” Rihanna said. “That makes me feel safe.”
The Barbadian singer has appeared in 12 songs since the release of her wildcard, genre-defying album Anti in 2016, notably the smash hit collaboration “This is What You Came For” with Calvin Harris and a feature in the song “Loyalty” in Kendrick Lamar‘s fourth studio album DAMN.
Her last live performance was of “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled at the 2018 Grammys, and since then, she has been named the wealthiest female musician in the world and amassed her own fashion empire FENTY, known for its groundbreaking, racially inclusive makeup and scandalous, funny product names.
But it isn’t this endless list of diamond accolades that leaves the rest of the world coming back for more and wanting to stand beneath her Umbrella (ella ella eh eh eh), according to hip-hop artist and long-time friend Drake.
“What’s most impressive is the person. Some artists need to play a character to achieve success [and] some need to downplay their natural instinct to blend in,” he said when handing her the 2016 Michael Jackson Vanguard award at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “She succeeds by doing something that no one in this music industry does, which is being herself.”
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