Rihanna has slyly confirmed that she will appear, and possibly headline, the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show in Feb. 2023, according to Variety. Roc Nation also confirmed the singer’s participation on Sunday.
The singer shared a picture of an NFL-branded football on her Instagram on Sunday. The post came amid reports that the singer was “in talks” to headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
The game, which typically draws one of the biggest single TV audiences of the year, is scheduled to be played at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb.12.
Although having Rihanna as the halftime headliner is a logical conclusion from the Roc Nation connection, the singer has not released an album since 2016, despite teasing her new music for more than a year. The decision to perform on one of the world’s biggest stages, surely has fans riled up at the thought of new music from the R&B singer.
Rihanna was offered to headline the 2020 Halftime show, but turned down the offer in a decision to show solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and because she just “couldn’t be a sellout.”
This is the first year that Apple Music will serve as a sponsor for the halftime show, replacing the NFL’s longtime partner Pepsi. The NFL announced the move last week at midnight, which had fans hypothesizing that Taylor Swift would be a potential headliner due to Swift’s connection to the hour (Her forthcoming album is called “Midnights”). That was later disproved by sources close to Swift who spoke to both People and TMZ and alleged that although she had been approached by the NFL in the past, the pop phenom had turned down the offer.
In May, Pepsi officially renounced its title as a halftime show sponsor, choosing to walk away from a decade-long association that transformed the event from a lineup of primarily rock musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in favor of a new group of artists aiming at the younger generations that advertisers and the NFL seek to court. The NFL was said to be seeking significantly higher annual payments for the sponsorship rights and according to a press release issued by the league, their contract with the software company is a multi-year deal.
Apple has in recent months shown a greater interest in sports. Its streaming platform has started new deals with Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer to show games to subscribers. Sports rights have long been the province of traditional media companies like Fox, Disney, Paramount Global and NBCUniversal, but technology companies like Apple and Amazon have made a bigger play for those rights as they seek to bring in consumers to their broadband subscription-video services. Amazon, for its part, is now a major NFL partner thanks to its control of rights to “Thursday Night Football.”
Apple Music will be offering sneak peeks of its Halftime ideas via its social handle, @AppleMusic, on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.