After a healthy amount of confusing build-up, it’s finally been announced: Rihanna will perform in the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show. The rapper and pop legend hasn’t released a solo project since her album ANTI in 2016, but continues to hold a prevalent spot in pop culture, leading to copious excitement and curiosity surrounding what she’ll pull out of her repertoire spanning over a decade. Previously, rumors abounded concerning a possible halftime performance from Taylor Swift, but it has since been revealed that she turned the opportunity down to focus on her recording projects.
Rihanna’s acceptance comes after a previous rejection of another halftime offer, in a show of support for Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick, the former quarterback for the 49ers without a team since 2017, has accused the NFL of making it impossible for him to find another position since he took a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality against Black people.
Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment and sports company, has been working as a consultant for the halftime show since 2019. Rihanna is both managed by the company and signed to their record label. The game will take place in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12, 2023, with this being the first year of Apple Music serving as the main sponsor of the halftime show (instead of Pepsi).