It’s happening, everyone. We’re only days away from Rihanna’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl. As if we needed any more reasons to get excited, Rihanna gave Apple Music the inside scoop about her setlist. According to the singer, she went through painstaking lengths to perfect the mashup of songs—and finally landed on the perfect mix after 39 tries. “Every little change counts,” she told Apple. “Whether I want, like, a guitar cut out, something muted, something added, or just put in a whole new song, or take out a whole song. Every time I make a change something has to be updated and that’s a new version.”
The halftime show is a relatively quick performance that lasts about 15 minutes long. Rihanna said selecting the songs for the show was “the hardest part.” It’s gonna be a celebration of my catalog in the best way that we could have put it together,” she explained. “You’re trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes…but I think we did a good job of narrowing it down.” Difficulties aside, we have a feeling Rihanna has something fun up her sleeve.
To prepare fans, the singer dropped a quick teaser for the event. Set against a simple backdrop, we see Rihanna walking toward the camera—in a fabulous outfit, may I add—while audio snippets about her six-year hiatus play in the background. Judging from the look in her eye, we can already tell this performance will be one to remember. Check it out.
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The beloved musician confirmed her performance last fall, with a quick Instagram post. On September 25, she uploaded a picture of her manicured hand holding a football. The caption? A simple period. That was enough information to send the Internet into a frenzy. Her comments section practically erupted in fire emojis, with fans celebrating Queen Rih’s revival.
Rihanna has not been on tour, performed live, or released a full album since 2016, when she dropped her critically-acclaimed record, Anti. This year, she teased fans with a quick lullaby for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but aside from that, Rihanna hasn’t been singing much. Needless to say, her appearance at the Super Bowl is a big f*cking deal. As usual, the halftime setlist is under wraps, but there is a chance Rihanna will bring a few special guests with her. Perhaps SZA, Drake, or Eminem will stop by. Or maybe, if we’re lucky, she’ll bring out Tom Holland for an “Umbrella” cameo. With a musical catalog as big as hers, the possibilities are truly endless.
Associate Staff Writer
Bria McNeal is a Manhattan based journalist who is patiently awaiting B5’s revival. When she’s not writing about all things entertainment, she can be found watching TV or trying to DIY something (likely, at the same time). Her work has appeared in NYLON, Refinery29, InStyle, and her personal newsletter, StirCrazy.