In 2019, Rihanna notably declined the offer to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. She explained her decision to Vogue, saying that she did so in support of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was suspended from the NFL for taking a knee to denounce systematic racism and police brutality. The pop artist at the time declared, “I just couldn’t be a sellout, I couldn’t be an enabler.”
The singer-turned-billionaire in the beauty industry will now perform as the Apple Music halftime act for Super Bowl LVII on Sunday in front of an estimated 190 million people. In a recent interview, Rihanna revealed, “I felt like it was now or never for me.” “The Super Bowl is one of the largest venues in the world; to perform on a stage like that is an entertainer’s dream.”
After almost six years away, Rihanna makes her musical comeback during the concert. Lift Me Up from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which received her an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, was the singer’s first song to be released since 2017. Not that the 34-year-old singer has lagged behind during her break from the music industry. The 34-year-old has grown Fenty Beauty, founded six years ago with luxury goods giant LVMH, into one of the most inclusive and successful cosmetics companies in the business, valued at an estimated $2.8 billion. She also gave birth to her first child in May. Following a $125 million fundraising round in 2017, she also introduced the lingerie line Savage X Fenty in 2018, which was considering an initial public offering (IPO) of $3 billion. The companies collectively account for the vast bulk of Rihanna’s estimated net worth of $1.4 billion.
Rihanna won’t get paid for her Super Bowl performance, as is customary for halftime headliners, so it’s a good thing she has plenty of money.
Although top artists like Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and Lady Gaga don’t get payment for their performances, the program offers significant advantages due to the exposure to a sizable audience. The number of viewers is anticipated to surpass 192 million this year. The halftime show impact, perhaps? According to Billboard, Lady Gaga’s album and song sales surged 1000% when she hit the stage in 2017. Jennifer Lopez received 2.3 million new social media followers after she and Shakira headlined in 2020.
West Coast hip-hop icons Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and 50 Cent performed at the event the year before, giving each of their individual catalogs a boost. Data from Luminate shows that Dr. Dre had an increase in album sales of 183% and an increase in on-demand stream volume of 105% in the week after the Super Bowl. Blige’s record sales increased by 999% over that time, while Snoop Dogg’s increased by 361, according to Luminate. Long after the big game, the production itself continued to get praise: it was nominated for five Emmy awards and took home three of them, including the prize for Best Live Variety Special—the first time a Super Bowl halftime show had ever taken home that title.
After years away from the stage, Rihanna, who already has close to 250 million followers on Twitter and Instagram, will perform at the Super Bowl as a means to reconnect with her audience and go back to her musical origins. (She did show up in the May 2022 music video for her partner A$AP Rocky.) As the NFL’s Live Music Entertainment Strategists, Jay-Roc Z’s Nation entered into a long-term agreement with the NFL in 2019. This cooperation with Jay-Z is another another.
The production costs of halftime performances might reach $10 million, just like Super Bowl ads. A source close to The Weeknd told Forbes that the rapper and producer also spent about $7 million on his show last year. The Weeknd spent $7 million of his own money on the halftime show for the 2021 Super Bowl to ensure that it met his vision. An NFL spokesman told Forbes that the NFL and Apple Music will likely pay for Rihanna’s performance, just like the league’s longstanding sponsor Pepsi did in the past.
If Rihanna is investing her own money in the performance, her spokesman refuses to confirm it. Forbes contacted Roc Nation and Apple Music for comment, but neither company responded.
At a news conference prior of the game on Thursday, Rihanna stated, “I get engaged with every element of anything that I do. “I want to see the content on the internet, whether it’s for the Super Bowl, a beauty product, or Savage underwear. Every lipstick I produce will have a name, the CEO declared. “My name must be attached to that, whether it flies or flops.”
Of course, Fenty Beauty and Savage X Fenty will also probably benefit greatly from the show on Sunday. Days before Valentine’s Day, a traditionally popular period for the lingerie sector, the performance will take place. Both companies have introduced “game day” limited edition collections that include items like football-themed sweatshirts, t-shirts that say, “Rihanna concert interrupted by a football game, odd but whatever,” lipsticks, and even a cosmetic sponge in the form of a ball.
Taking a break from rehearsals, Rihanna remarked at the press briefing, “The Fenty highlighter is certainly helping today.” “Because I haven’t gone to bed yet.”
But Rihanna’s music is what Sunday’s performance is really about. She declared before the performance that “this event is going to be a celebration of my collection, the best way we can put it together.” You’re attempting to squeeze 17 years’ worth of labor into 13 minutes. It can be an indication of what will happen next. According to rumors, the singer will go on her first tour since 2016 later this year, which fans are hoping she will reveal on Sunday.
Fans of Rihanna may still need to control their expectations.
She responded, “Super Bowl is one thing. “New music is something else.”