Rihanna is scheduled to headline the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The pop star, her record label, Roc Nation, the National Football League (NFL) and the halftime show sponsor, Apple Music, made the announcement on Sunday (September 25).
Taking to social media, the 34-year-old Barbadian singer-songwriter and businesswoman confirmed the news by sharing an image of her hand holding an NFL football.
In a statement released by the NFL, Jay-Z, whose entertainment agency, Roc Nation, is an executive producer of the halftime show, praised Rihanna as a “generational talent.”
“Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn,” Jay-Z said in the statement.
“A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment,” he added.
Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, previously turned down an offer to perform at the halftime show of the 2019 Super Bowl in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback player Colin Kaepernick, who an NFL team hasn't signed since his on-pitch protests against racial injustice in 2016. Kaepernick later accused the NFL of colluding to keep him out of the league in a lawsuit that was eventually settled in early 2019.
At the time, Rihanna confirmed to Vogue that she had turned down the chance to appear on the global stage offered by the game.
“I couldn't dare do that,” Rihanna told Vogue in 2019 of her decision.
“For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn't be a sellout. I couldn't be an enabler. There's 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.”
Cardi B also turned down the offer. The Super Bowl 2019 halftime performance was instead headlined by the band Maroon 5, whose frontman, Adam Levine, has been entangled in controversy after a recent cheating scandal.
Earlier this week, US media reported that Taylor Swift had turned down an offer to headline the show, choosing instead to continue re-recording her back catalogue. In 2019, Swift revealed her plans to re-record songs from her first six records to take control over her music once again after music manager Scooter Braun and his media holding company, Ithaca Holdings LLC, acquired Swift's old label, Big Machine Label Group, back in June 2019.
Roc Nation, which entered into a long-term relationship with the NFL in 2019 to advise it on shows, will be the strategic entertainment adviser for Rihanna's performance next year at the event.
Rihanna joins a list of musical icons, including Madonna, Beyonce, Katey Perry, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and The Weeknd, who have taken the stage for the halftime show. Last year's performance, featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar, earned five Emmy nominations and won three Emmys, including the Outstanding Variety Special, Outstanding Music Direction, and Outstanding Production Design For a Variety Special.
With sales of more than 250 million records worldwide, Rihanna ranks as one of the best-selling female artists ever. Although she has not released an album since 2016, she has suggested to fans on social media that new music is in the pipeline.
In an interview with Vogue earlier this year, she stated that she was working on a new project.
“I'm looking at my next project completely differently from the way I had wanted to put it out before. I think this way suits me better, a lot better,” she says.
“It's authentic, it'll be fun for me, and it takes a lot of the pressure off,” she continued.
Rihanna released her most recent and eighth studio album, “Anti,” in 2016. She has won nine Grammy Awards, in addition to several American Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards.
This year, her $1.4 billion net worth put her at No. 21 on Forbes' annual list of America's top self-made women. Most of that revenue comes from the success of Fenty Beauty, which she co-owns with the French luxury retailer LVMH.
Rihanna also has a lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, which raised money at a $1 billion valuation in February 2021, according to Forbes.