The world is dark and featureless at the start of the trailer for Rihanna‘s Super Bowl LVII Halftime show, much like how life has been for Rihanna stans as they’ve waited for new music these past seven years. Suddenly, Rihanna, 34, as a disembodied voice says, “It’s been 2,190 days…” “Rihanna, we’ve waited for you,” says another. As the “Work” singer comes into view, more voices talk about the drought since she dropped her last album, 2016’s Anti. “RiRi, where have you been?” shouts one as another says, “Rihanna is who everyone has been waiting for.”
More voices join in, creating a loud fracas – all the while, Rihanna poses in what appears to be a chartreuse version of the furry coat she wore for her 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards performance of “B**** Better Have My Money.” Once the noise gets near-overwhelming, the lights go out, and Rihanna raises a finger to her lips in an “Shhhhh” motion. The opening second of her “Needed Me” song begins to play, and it appears that the time for talk is over. Fans must wait until Feb. 12, when the NFL rolls into State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, for Super Bowl 57.
While Rihanna’s Super Bowl setlist is likely locked in a vault somewhere to prevent her NAVY from peeking before she hits the field, it’s hard not to think that she won’t break out “This Is What You Came For,” her 2016 collab with Calvin Harris, since many fans will be tuning in to the football extravaganza for Rihanna. Coincidentally, Calvin Harris is back in the spotlight since he’ll be DJing Coachella this year, and there were reports that Taylor Swift — Calvin’s ex and the co-writer on “This Is What You Came For” – was going to headline this year’s Halftime Show.
Rihanna first announced her Halftime headlining gig on Sept. 25, 2022, by posting a simple image to her Instagram: her tattooed hand holding an NFL-branded Super Bowl. Shortly afterward, the official NFL Twitter account tweeted “Let’s Go!” and the #SBLVII hashtag while tagging Rihanna, Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation (who partnered with the NFL in 2019 to produce the Super Bowl Halftime show).
The league and Roc Nation quickly confirmed what everyone suspected. “Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn,” Jay-Z said in the statement confirming Rihanna’s headlining spot at the 2023 Super Bowl. “A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment.”
“I can’t give her any advice,” Super Bowl LVI Halftime performer Snoop Dogg told HollywoodLife when discussing Rihanna’s upcoming performance. “She’s one of the greatest to do it. She knows what to do. But I do know that she’s gonna create a show that everyone will talk about for many generations.”
In the lead-up to the Super Bowl, Rihanna has dropped some football-themed Savage x Fenty merch. A$AP Rocky has stepped up in the “daddy duties” department, caring for his and Rihanna’s young son while she prepares for the show. Rihanna may even include her boy, born in May 2022, in the show, a source tells HollywoodLife.
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