Super Bowl 2023 Halftime Performers

Super Bowl Halftime Show press conference

Getty MJ Acosta-Ruiz speaks during the Super Bowl LVII Pregame & Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show Press Conference on February 09, 2023

Rihanna has been working around the clock to prepare for her performance as the headliner of the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show on February 12, 2023, which will be the superstar’s first live performance since 2018, according to USA Today. Rumors have been flying about potential guest stars who might appear, especially since Rihanna revealed at a press conference that her set list has changed dozens of times. She also said that, despite being asked to headline the halftime show in the past, becoming a mom in 2022 gave her the confidence to finally take on the challenge.

Rihanna Says Set List Has Changed ’39 Times’


GettyRihanna speaks during a press conference about the Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show on February 09, 2023

During a press conference on February 9, Rihanna said she’d been working nonstop on the “jam-packed” performance, per The Athletic, saying there had already been “about 39 versions” of the set list for the Halftime Show. With 14 chart-topping hits to her name across the span of her 17-year career, the challenge is to squeeze as many of them into her 13-minute performance.

“Every little change counts,” she said. “If it flops or it flies, my name has to stand by that, so I really get involved with every aspect of anything that I do.”

According to USA Today, Rihanna told reporters that having her first child with rapper A$AP Rocky, a baby boy born in May 2022, empowered her to take on performing at the Super Bowl despite not having performed in so long.

“It feels like it could have only been now,” she said. “When I first got the call to do it again this year, I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ Like, ‘I’m three months postpartum. Should I be making major decisions like this right now? I might regret this.’ But when you become a mom, there’s something that just happens where you feel like you could take on the world, you can do anything.”

Many Fans Think Jay-Z Will Appear During Rihanna’s Halftime Show

Rihanna and Jay-Z

GettyRihanna and Jay-Z at the Grammy Awards in 2010

There’s been a great deal of speculation about which stars might pop up as guest stars during Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show. TV Insider says it’s a “tried and true tradition” for headliners to introduce surprise guests, which are usually past collaborators on their hits or peers they love.

For instance, in 2013, Beyoncé reunited with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams for a Destiny’s Child reunion, and then returned as a surprise guest along with Bruno Mars during 2016’s halftime show headlined by Coldplay.

Many suspect Jay-Z will appear during Rihanna’s set. He helped discover the nine-time Grammy winner and his entertainment agency, Roc Nation, is one of the halftime show’s executive producers, per XXL Magazine.

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

According to Covers, which monitors the betting industry, people are not only betting on the outcome of the game but also on details of the halftime show, from what color Rihanna’s hair will be to who will make surprise appearances. Jay-Z and Drake top the leader board as the most-likely guests, but many have also placed bets on rapper T.I. He collaborated with her on one of her most popular songs, “Live Your Life,” in 2008.

With Super Bowl 57 starting on FOX at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, The Sporting News says Rihanna’s halftime show will likely begin around 8 p.m. Eastern time.