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Rihanna to Headline 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show

Taylor Swift reportedly turned down the gig

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Rihanna to headline 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show
Rihanna, photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

    Rihanna, and not Taylor Swift, will headline the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

    The Barbados pop star will take the stage during Super Bowl LVII on February 12th, 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, the NFL announced on Sunday. It’ll mark her first time headlining the halftime show.

    “We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage,” NFL head of music Seth Dudowsky said in a statement. “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.”

    Late last week Variety reported that Taylor Swift was in line to headline the halftime show. A subsequent report from TMZ stated the Swift was offered the gig, but turned it down because she “didn’t want to perform until she finished re-recording all of her first six albums.”

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    It appears JAY-Z and Roc Nation — which the NFL hired in 2019 to curate the Super Bowl Halftime Show — pivoted to a familiar face in Rihanna. (When JAY-Z was president of Def Jam, he gave Rihanna her first recording contract in 2005. After JAY-Z left Def Jam and launched his own label, Roc Nation, Rihanna came along with him. The label continues to represent her today.)

    The halftime show represents Rihanna’s long-awaited return to the live stage following a multi-year musical hiatus. She hasn’t released an album since Anti in 2016, and last performed live in 2018 at the Grammy Awards. In recent years, she’s primarily been focused on her cosmetics and fashion company Fenty; the venture has proven extremely lucrative, as she recently became a billionaire at the young age of 34. She also gave birth to a baby boy earlier this year.

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