Rihanna is set to headline the 2023 super bowl halftime show

Photo courtesy of Chris B, via Wikimedia Commons

By Angelina Herrera

Rihanna will be headlining the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show taking place on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Arizona. Rihanna, her record label, the NFL, and Apple Music made a joint announcement on September 25 that the nine-time Grammy award-winner would lead the halftime performances.

The news spread quickly on social media when Rihanna posted a photo of herself holding an NFL football on Instagram. Her record label, Roc Nation, and the NFL posted the same photo to celebrate and share the exciting news. 

Pepsi announced this year that it will end its decade-long sponsorship of the halftime show, though it will still be the official drink of the Super Bowl. Apple Music has taken on the job and replaced Pepsi. 

Rihanna turned down the opportunity to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show, in support of Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who knelt during the national anthem and was essentially blacklisted from the NFL. 

“I couldn’t dare do that. For what?” Rihanna said in an interview with Vogue in 2019. “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.”

Her response was in support of the African American community’s outrage against racial injustice and police brutality. 

Maroon 5, eventually performed at the 2019 halftime show instead of Rihanna. 

This will be Rihanna’s first performance in five years. The last time she performed publicly was at the 2018 Grammy awards. Since then, she has been focusing on her brands Fenty Beauty and Savage, as well as having a child with rapper A$AP Rocky. Fans have been patiently waiting for a new album amidst her newest projects.

There has been speculation that Rihanna will be releasing a new album in the coming year amidst the announcement of headlining Super Bowl 57. She told Vogue earlier this year that there has been an album in the works. With her most recent album, “Anti,” released in 2016 fans are hoping to hear new, unreleased songs during the halftime show.