Rihanna promises ‘jam-packed’ Super Bowl halftime show as she preps for first live event in seven years

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PHOENIX — Rihanna is placing within the work forward of her Super Bowl halftime show, focusing so exhausting on what she guarantees shall be “a jam-packed present” that her upcoming birthday and Valentine’s Day nearly slipped her thoughts.

“The setlist was the most important problem. That was the toughest, hardest half. Deciding methods to maximize 13 minutes but in addition rejoice — that’s what this present goes to be. It’s going to be a celebration of my catalog in one of the simplest ways that we might have put it collectively,” Rihanna stated.

At a media preview Thursday forward of Sunday’s matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, the music famous person and new mom stated her look — her first reside occasion in seven years — feels “prefer it might have solely been now.”

The singer stated she was initially uncertain about taking over the problem of performing throughout a time when she was three months postpartum and questioned “ought to I be making main choices like this proper now? I’d remorse this.”

“However whenever you develop into a mother, there’s one thing that simply occurs the place you’re feeling like you possibly can tackle the world, you are able to do something,” Rihanna stated. “The Tremendous Bowl is likely one of the greatest levels of the world. As scary as that was, as a result of I hadn’t been on stage in seven years, there’s one thing exhilarating concerning the problem of all of it.”

A nine-time Grammy Award-winner, Rihanna has 14 No. 1 Billboard Sizzling 100 hits, together with “We Discovered Love,” “Work,” “Umbrella” and “Disturbia.” She and rapper A$AP Rocky recently welcomed her first child.

“On the finish of the day, if it flops or it flies, my title has to face by that. And so I actually become involved with each facet of something I do,” she stated.

Image: Rihanna performs at the Grammy Awards in New York in 2018.
Rihanna performs on the Grammy Awards in New York in 2018.Christopher Polk / Getty Photos for NARAS file

Halftime efficiency sponsor Apple Music held a moderated occasion Thursday, however moderator Nadeska Alexis was the one journalist allowed to ask Rihanna questions.

Rihanna joins a listing of celebrated entertainers who’ve performed throughout Tremendous Bowl halftime reveals, together with Beyoncé, Madonna, Coldplay, Katy Perry, U2, Girl Gaga, Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and The Weeknd. Final yr, hip-hop was celebrated with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar all performing.

The singer had beforehand declined to carry out within the 2019 halftime present out of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. However she has stated that the timing and circumstances this time round had been proper for her.

Nation music star Chris Stapleton will sing the national anthem, whereas R&B legend Babyface will carry out “America the Stunning.” Actor-singer Sheryl Lee Ralph will also perform “Raise Each Voice and Sing.” When requested who they had been cheering for on Sunday, Ralph stated she was rooting for the Eagles whereas Stapleton and Babyface stated they had been backing Rihanna.

Ralph applauded the NFL for making an effort towards being inclusive and “signify all folks” by means of the three songs.

“On a day, Tremendous Bowl Sunday, 200 million folks coming collectively to take a seat and expertise it right here, what a time and what a approach to convey us all collectively,” she stated. “I’m more than happy and really completely satisfied to have the ability to be on the 40-yard line.”

Babyface stated he first began singing “America the Stunning” as a sophomore for a play in highschool.

“It’s exhausting to imagine that so a few years in the past, which is quite a lot of years in the past, that I’m right here to sing ‘America the Stunning,‘” he stated. “Again then, my mother was within the viewers and he or she couldn’t imagine I used to be up there on the stage singing. Just like the shy child who truly acquired up there singing. To consider her this now and see me at this second singing ‘America the Stunning,’ it’s full circle.”

Oscar winner Troy Kotsur will carry out the nationwide anthem in American signal language. Colin Denny will signal “America the Stunning” and “Raise Each Voice and Sing” shall be signed by Justina Miles.

Via an interpreter, Kotsur stated performing makes him really feel prouder to be an American. Miles stated “Raise Each Voice and Sing” represents resilience.

“The nationwide anthem by no means actually resonated with me personally, however the Black nationwide anthem is admittedly inspiring and empowering,” Miles stated. “This music is so constructive and so stunning. You don’t actually hear or see it fairly often. There’s many of us who don’t even know the Black nationwide anthem even exist. It’s not just for me to share this expertise with the entire world, however to essentially convey that empowerment to thousands and thousands of Black, deaf folks all around the nation who’ve by no means seen that earlier than.”

Apple Music this yr changed Pepsi, which sponsored the present for the previous 10 years. Phrases weren’t introduced, however analysts had anticipated the league to get no less than $50 million per yr for the rights.


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