It’s official: Next Super Bowl halftime show headliner announced

Rihanna coyly announced the news first, sharing a photo of her hand holding up a football.

WASHINGTON — Rihanna is set to take the halftime show stage at the upcoming 2023 Super Bowl LVII. 

The NFL, Apple Music and Roc Nation announced Sunday that Rihanna will be headlining the show at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Rihanna coyly announced the news first, sharing a photo of her hand holding up a football, and the NFL later confirmed it in a press release. 

“Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn. A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment,” said Roc Nation’s Jay-Z in the press release.

This will be the first year Apple Music will partner with the NFL for the Super Bowl halftime show after replacing longtime-sponsor Pepsi, which sponsored the show for the last 10 years. 

After Apple Music was announced as the selected sponsor, rumors circled about Taylor Swift taking over the Super Bowl stage — as did reports to the contrary.

By Friday afternoon, Swift was trending on Twitter as Variety, PEOPLE and TMZ dropped conflicting reports on whether or not the Super Bowl halftime show was locked in. 

This year’s Super Bowl halftime show featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar, along with a surprise visit from rapper 50 Cent. 

Rihanna turned down a similar opportunity for the 2019 Super Bowl that was ultimately headlined by Maroon 5. At the time, many artists voiced support for Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose 2016 national anthem protests sparked debate throughout football.

“I couldn’t dare do that. For what?” Rihanna told Vogue in 2019. “Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way,” she said of the league.

With sales of more than 250 million records worldwide, Rihanna ranks as one of the best-selling female artists ever. Her last album was 2016’s “Anti.”

How much do performers get paid for the Super Bowl halftime show?

While they might not leave with a check from the NFL, the true benefit of performing at the halftime show is worldwide exposure that leads to more music sales and streaming. 

For instance, The Weeknd’s music sales soared by 385% in the wake of his performance at the 2021 Super Bowl, according to Billboard. Streaming of his songs on apps like Spotify and Apple Music increased by around 41%, Billboard reported.

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