Rihanna is set to perform live for the first time in seven years with her highly anticipated title slot at the 2023 Super Bowl half-time show.
The Barbadian singer is expected to be joined by multiple special guests during the biggest event in the US sporting calendar.
The game at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, will see the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ahead of the show, Rihanna said there was “something exhilarating” about the challenge of the performance, and she was excited to represent Barbados on the global stage.
She said that following the birth of her son she felt like she could “take on the world” and that it was “important” for him to see her performing.
“When you become a mom, there’s something that just happens where you feel like you could take on the world,” she said at the Apple Music pre-game press conference.
“You can do anything, and the Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world.
“So as scary as that was, because I haven’t been on stage in seven years, there’s something exhilarating about the challenge of it all.
“And it’s important for me to do this, this year it’s important for representation and it’s important for my son to see that.”
She added: “It’s a beautiful journey that I’m on, and I could have never guessed that I would have made it here.
“So it’s a celebration of that…I’m excited to do that and then I’m really excited to have Barbados on the Super Bowl.”
Rihanna’s involvement in the half-time show was first announced by the NFL in September last year, with the singer sharing a photo of her hand holding an American football online.
She later followed it up with a dramatic teaser video in which she hushed voices discussing her return to the music scene.
The 30-second clip saw the pop superstar illuminated by a bright white spotlight while wearing a luxurious yellow shawl and heavy silver chains around her neck.
Rihanna declined to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl half-time show out of solidarity with former American football player Colin Kaepernick, who became recognised around the world for taking a knee to protest against racial injustice in the US.
The show comes just over seven years after the release of her last studio album, Anti, in January 2016 – with fans clamouring for new music ever since.
In October last year, she released the single, Lift Me Up, for blockbuster Marvel sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The track received wide critical acclaim and scored the singer multiple nominations during this year’s award season including a nod for the best original song Oscar.
The half-time show has previously been headlined by global superstars including The Weeknd, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.
Last year saw Californian rap powerhouses Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg take the title slot, joined by Mary J Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent at the Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles.
The Super Bowl also offers a chance for film studios and brands to showcase upcoming trailers and adverts on a global scale.
The 30-second slots for adverts can reportedly cost up to 10 million dollars (£8.2 million).
Oscar-winning deaf actor Troy Kotsur will also make an appearance on Sunday as one of three official ASL translators.
Kotsur will sign the US national anthem, saying he intended to channel the songwriter Francis Scott Key during his performance.
Published: 12/02/2023 by Radio NewsHub