Rihanna explains Super Bowl Performance and Album Update in New Interview

[Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone]

By Roman Salomone, Contributor

In a new interview with Giles Hattersley of British Vogue, Rihanna discussed a multitude of topics such as her recent half-time performance at the 57th Super Bowl, becoming a mother, her partner A$AP Rocky, and an update on her upcoming album.

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In the interview, the two focus on Rihanna’s stance with her of a past Super Bowl halftime opportunity and her finally taking the stage in 2023. She was originally offered a slot to perform at the Super Bowl in 2019 (LIII), but declined the offer in support of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The athlete had not played in the league since 2017 and was in several legal battles against the NFL, due to him kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality. Instead, the NFL and Pepsi enlisted Maroon 5 as the main act, with additional guest appearances from Travis Scott and Big Boi of OutKast fame. She told Vogue in 2019 that “I just couldn’t be a sellout,” when discussing her decision. 

At the Super Bowl, Rihanna performed a 13-minute set with zero guest appearances. The setlist consisted of some of her most widely-known and beloved hits such as “Bitch Better Have My Money”, “We Found Love”, “Diamonds”, “Work”, and “Umbrella” among others. Her show has received some backlash though, notably for performing songs associated with Kanye West. In particular, the song “All of the Lights” and the Jay-Z single “Run This Town”, the first of which is a West song and the latter that features him.

In May of 2022, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky welcomed their first child and while she has stayed busy with her Fenty beauty fashion/makeup brand and numerous features & collabs, her last full-length album, ANTI, was released back in 2016. However, in the British Vogue interview Hattersly claims that “Rihanna never stopped recording. The past years are littered with songs she’s fallen in and out of love with.”

The newest material that Rihanna has dropped was a single and music video for the song “Lift Me Up” from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. The song is up for an Oscar award as ‘Best Original Song’ and marks her first nomination from the Academy Awards.

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