On Sunday night (25 September), the singer announced via Instagram that she will be the headline performer at the NFL’s Super Bowl halftime show in February 2023.
The 34-year-old singer and businesswoman will take top billing at what many consider to be the biggest single musical performance slot in the US, following in the footsteps of fellow pop titans Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Madonna.
Rihanna shared the news by posting a simple image of an NFL football in her hand to her social media accounts.
It wasn’t long before fans and celebrities started reacting to the news. One of the first to comment was singer Lizzo, who wrote “Screaming” under Rihanna’s Instagram post.
Katy Perry was also quick to share her excitement on the news, writing: “Hell yeah”.
“The queen is back,” wrote Justin Bieber, while Lindsay Lohan commented with two heart emojis.
“Suddenly I love football,” wrote MTV’s official Instagram, while British artist Nadia Rose said: “Lets go Riri!!!”
"Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn,” said Jay-Z, whose company Roc Nation is one of the producers of the show.
“A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment.”
Rihanna, known off stage as Robyn Rihanna Fenty, previously declined an offer to perform at the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, who has been unsigned by any American football team since his on-pitch protests against racial injustice in 2016.
Seth Dudowsky, the NFL’s head of music, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Super Bowl halftime show stage... to bring fans another historic Halftime Show performance."
The NFL is partnering with Apple Music to produce the halftime show, which will be held on 12 February 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.
Since her rise to stardom in the mid-Noughties, Rihanna has expanded beyond music into film acting and the cosmetics business, becoming the first Black woman to run a luxury brand for the French fashion giant LVMH.