Rihanna makes her grand return to the stage for the Apple Music Halftime Show at Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will face off at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, with kickoff at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time. The singer is expected to perform approximately an hour-and-a-half into the game, around 7:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time, reported Billboard.
While teasing her performance at a press conference ahead of Sunday’s game, Rihanna revealed she had to narrow her catalog down into just a 13-minute performance.
Rihanna rose to fame in 2005 with her debut single, “Pon de Replay.” She followed it up with numerous hits, such as “SOS,” “Disturbia” and “Umbrella.” The NFL, Apple Music and Roc Nation announced in September 2022 that the 34-year-old would be the 2023 halftime performer.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage,” NFL Head of Music, Seth Dudowsky, said in a press release. “Rihanna is a once in a generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career. We look forward to collaborating with Rihanna, Roc Nation and Apple Music to bring fans another historic Halftime Show performance.”
Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter added in the announcement, “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.”
The rapper founded Roc Nation, which according to the press release, serves as the “strategic entertainment advisors” for the performance.
The Halftime Setlist Was Rihanna’s ‘Biggest Challenge’
The setlist proved to be the singer’s “biggest challenge,” revealing during the press conference that she created approximately 39 versions of it.
“You’re trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes so it’s, it’s difficult,” the “Ocean’s Eight” actress added. “But so, some songs we have to lose because of that and that’s going to be okay, but I think we did a pretty good job at narrowing it down.”
Getting the show done in such a tight timeframe is team effort.
“A lot of moving parts,” the Fenty founder said during the press conference. “I mean, it’s literally like 300-400 people breaking the stage down and building it back up and getting it out in 8 minutes. It’s incredible. It’s almost impossible.”
Super Bowl LVII Features Star-Studded Pre-Game Performances
Super Bowl LVII will feature a star-studded lineup of pre-game performers.
The NFL announced in a press release that it tapped country singer Chris Stapleton to sing the national anthem, Grammy-winning artist Babyface to sing “America the Beautiful” and “Abbott Elementary” actress Sheryl Lee Ralph to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
They will be joined by signers performing the songs in American Sign Language (ASL), according to the press release. It added that Oscar-winning actor Troy Kotsur will sign the national anthem, Deaf Native American Colin Denny will sign “America the Beautiful” and Deaf performer Justina Miles will sign “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”