Rihanna may be next in line to command the attention of millions of viewers during the Super Bowl. On Sunday (Sept. 25) morning, TMZ reported that the Barbados beauty’s team is in talks for her to headline the halftime show at next year’s big game.
At least one other artist, whose identity was not made public, is said to be in talks to possibly co-headline. According to the outlet, a source said, “We do not know if she’s a firm go, but our sources say the NFL may reveal who they’ve locked up as early as Sunday afternoon via tweet.”
The “Love on the Brain” singer was previously offered the gig for the 2019 game, but she ultimately declined the opportunity. Speaking with Vogue, Rihanna said, “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? 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.”
At the time, the NFL was on the receiving end of criticism for its handling of Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling movement. The quiet protest of police brutality and injustices committed against Black and brown people ultimately cost the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback his football career.
By August 2019, JAY-Z announced his entertainment company, Roc Nation, entered into a multiyear partnership with the league. As part of the agreement, Roc Nation helps with choosing artists for the halftime show as well as social justice efforts. Rihanna credits JAY with helping her to kick-start her career by signing her to Def Jam in 2005. She later went on to sign with Roc Nation.
This year’s halftime show was lauded as a celebration of West Coast music, widely orchestrated by Dr. Dre. Alongside The Chronic rapper, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem performed. Their stellar show was rewarded with an Emmy for Best Live Variety Special. It was the first time the show prevailed in that category.