Following an announcement last year by The NFL that Rihanna would be headlining the First ever Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show, the singer last week reaffirmed the news by sharing a trailer teasing her role as a headliner.
This comes at the helm of Riri’s highly anticipated return to music; something she broke an ice on at the close of 2022 with the release of “Lift Me Up”; the soundtrack to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and now a teaser of her forthcoming performance.
The trailer opens with a spotlight on a black background as a collage of angry or impatient media voices say, “It’s been 2,190 days… It’s been over six years… Rihanna is who everybody is waiting for… The last album we got from Rihanna was ‘Anti’ in 2016” overlapping until they blur together while the video cuts between Rihanna walking toward the camera and posing, wearing a fluffy green jacket with her hair in an elaborate braid. Finally, as the voices mesh into nonsense, the sound stops, the camera cuts to black, and we just see Rihanna putting a “Shh” finger to her lips, followed by a brief snippet of her song “Needed Me” from that last album, “Anti.”
So, does this mean she has new music coming after all, even though she’s essentially said she doesn’t? Rih answered the inevitable new-album question by saying, “That’s not true. Super Bowl is one thing. New music is another thing. Do you hear that, fans?” she laughed. “The second that I announced this, I said, ‘Oh, my God, they’re going to think my album is coming. I need to get to work,’ ” she said.
This seems clear enough, but the trailer is enough to get fans — and annoying media voices — asking the question again. Time will tell: 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.
“Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn,” said Jay-Z — who not only signed Rihanna to Def Jam Records back in 2004, he also owns Roc Nation, which is her management company and NFL’s official entertainment partner — when she was announced as the halftime performer back in September. “A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment.”
As the trailer notes, she has not released an album since 2016. She has since commented vaguely about two different albums in the years since (and been photographed coming in and out of recording studios), with one being described as a dancehall album. However, details remain scarce.
The Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show will be telecast and produced by DPS. Roc Nation and Jesse Collins serve as executive producers and Hamish Hamilton serves as director. Roc Nation is also serving as the strategic entertainment advisors of the live performance. This is the first year that Apple Music will serve as a sponsor for the halftime show, replacing the NFL’s longtime partner Pepsi.
Think of it in a way that the most-watched musical performance of the year is pairing up with Apple Music; a music streaming service which celebrates musicians, songwriters, producers, and fans, and offers the world’s best music listening experience with a catalog of over 100 million songs, and immersive sound powered by Spatial Audio. Apple revolutionized the music experience with iPod and iTunes and continues the award-winning tradition with Apple Music.
Previous headliners of the past two editions were The Weeknd in 2021 and the one of 2022 had Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J Blige & Kendrick Lamar doing due diligence, Be sure to watch Rih this February 12th on Apple Music as she’ll be bringing it all and serving during her Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show performance.