Fresh off the news of Apple Music replacing Pepsi as the official sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show, we now know who will kick off the new era at Super Bowl LVII, and it will be none other than the pop princess, Rihanna.
Following a TMZ report that Rihanna was in discussions with the NFL to hit the field and take center stage at State Farm Arena in Arizona, where Super Bowl LVII will take place, the Barbadian musician and business mogul confirmed she would be performing during the Apple Music halftime show.
Rihanna announced with a simple post of a photo of her holding an official NFL football with no caption because, honestly, no words were necessary to describe the magnitude of what just happened.
Immediately, a statement followed from JAY-Z, whose entertainment agency reps Rihanna and works with the NFL to book talent for the halftime show to put the final punctuation on the news.
“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,” Rihanna’s mentor said.
As expected, the reactions poured in from members of the Navy (Rihanna’s loyal fan base) and others excited to see the musician perform again. She has been absent from the music world following her 2016 album ANTI, focusing on her lingerie line Savage x Fenty and cosmetic brand Fenty Beauty.
She also started a family with her boyfriend, Hip-Hop superstar A$AP Rocky.
Is Rihanna Being A Hypocrite?
Of course, the news of Rihanna has also sparked some controversy. Many also call the “Umbrella” crafter a hypocrite because she initially sided with Colin Kaepernick.
Initially, Rihanna turned down an opportunity to perform during the Pepsi Halftime Show in 2019, saying at the time to Vogue, “I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do agree with at all, and I was not about to go an be of any service to them [the NFL] in any way.”
Twitter users are also wondering what changed drastically in three years that made Rihanna have a change of heart.
“A few years ago, Rihanna turned down the Super Bowl halftime show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and b/c she said she “couldn’t be a sellout.” But today she’s proudly announcing she’ll headline this year’s show. Has something changed at the NFL that i haven’t heard about?” one user tweeted.
Maybe it was JAY-Z taking over, or perhaps it’s the fact that kids aren’t cheap, and Rihanna could use the extra paycheck, as another Twitter user joked.
What we do know is that we will be watching Rihanna perform at Super Bowl LVII.
You can peep more reactions in the gallery below.
Photo: Johnny Nunez / Getty