Rihanna is finally opening up about her Super Bowl LVII halftime performance.
The show will mark her return to the live music stage for the first time in nearly seven years, so it’s no surprise she’s had a hard time nailing down a setlist. The new mom sat down with Nadeska Alexis during an Apple Music press conference ahead of the big show.
The show will run 13 minutes, but Rihanna has a career that spans eight albums and 17 years. Cramming all of that material into 13 minutes has been “difficult,” she said.
“Some songs we have to lose because of that, and that’s going to be okay.”
“We did a pretty good job at narrowing it down. There’s probably been about 39 versions of the setlist right now. We’re on our 39th. Every little change counts.”
Rihanna said she hasn’t been afraid to take charge, as there’s a lot riding on this performance, including her own reputation.
“It feels like [playing the Super Bowl] could have only been now,” she explained.
“When I first got the call to do it again this year I was like, ‘Are you sure? I’m three months postpartum. Should I be making major decisions like this right now? I might regret this. When you become a mom there’s something that happens where you feel like you can take on the world and can do anything. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world. As scary as it was, because I haven’t been on stage in seven years, there’s something exhilarating about the challenge of it all. It’s important for me to do this year. It’s important for my son to see that.”
Jay-Z, A$AP Rocky and T.I. are all heavily rumored to make cameo appearances.
Ultimately the singer says it was an honor to be put in a position to represent Barbados, immigrants and Black women alike and plans on incorporating plenty of her native Caribbean culture into the show.
She also dropped a trailer for her performance featuring a young girl strutting down the street in her hometown of Barbados.
Fans have been wondering if Rihanna’s Super Bowl show will mark a new era of music for her.
“Musically I’m feeling open,” Rihanna teased. “I’m feeling open to exploring, discovering, creating things that are new, things that are different, things that are off, weird. Might not ever make sense to my fans… I want to have fun with music.”
The singer has not put out an album since 2016’s “Anti,” and her only major single since then was the ballad “Lift Me Up” from the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” soundtrack. Rihanna is Oscar-nominated this year for the song.
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