Life is good. This past week, Apple Music, the NFL, and Roc Nation officially announced Rihanna is playing the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show. Rihanna is an icon, and there is no one better to make a boring sports game exciting. Over the course of her career, RiRi has sold 250 million records worldwide and won nine Grammy awards, all while becoming the wealthiest female musician and second-best-selling female artist of all time. In addition to her music, the 34-year-old superstar is an entrepreneur and humanitarian with multiple beauty and fashion brands including Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty. The adored artist and business mogul has taken a hiatus from music, but we are thrilled to have her back.
The Super Bowl halftime performance clocks in at around 15 minutes and is known to be demanding and exhausting. As a result, most headliners bring out friends, idols, and collaborators as cameos throughout the show. In anticipation of the big performance (and the silly little game that goes alongside it), here are a few artists and celebs we’d love for Rihanna to bring out as her guest performers. While we still have to suffer through a full football season until then, stay tuned for the Super Bowl on February 12 to see which, if any, of these special guests actually appear.
This is a pretty easy prediction to start with. RiRi and Rocky began dating in 2020 after upgrading their friendship into something a bit more, and they welcomed their first child together earlier this year. The couple has been going strong, with a source noting that A$AP has been “so supportive of her in helping her to make the decision” to perform at the Super Bowl. Given this, it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if the rapper joined Rihanna on stage to perform her songs or his own music. If A$AP Rocky does appear at the Super Bowl, though, I hope he brings their newborn son with him too. Maybe it’s a dangerous idea, but it would still be absolutely adorable.
Jay-Z was one of the first people to discover Rihanna’s talent, so it wouldn’t be shocking if he joined her on stage at the Super Bowl to celebrate one of the biggest moments in her career. After signing her to his record label Def Jam in 2005, the influential rapper has maintained a strong friendship and mentorship with Rihanna to this day. Jay-Z’s entertainment agency Roc Nation is in partnership with the NFL to produce the Super Bowl, so obviously he’s thrilled with the choice. In a press release following the Super Bowl announcement, Jay-Z said “Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn. A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment.” These two artists have collaborated on several hit songs, so it would be amazing to see “Umbrella” or “Run This Town” included in the show.
Adele at the Super Bowl. Enough said. The British singer and Rihanna are known to be friends, so this could actually be a reality. In 2018, Adele raved about Rihanna when she wrote Rihanna’s TIME 100 profile. When describing Rihanna in the article, Adele called her “the most gracious, loyal and funny goofball of an icon”. Adele herself turned down the Super Bowl halftime show in 2017, but she never said that she wouldn’t make an appearance during another performer’s set. Like, just imagine a “Take A Bow” and “Easy On Me” mashup during the big game?? It would be a dream come true.
Rihanna and Drake have had a long history together. From romance rumors to numerous chart-topping songs, they have been through it all since 2005, when Drake first appeared as an extra in Rihanna’s “Pon de Replay” music video. Over the past 17 years, they’ve been spotted kissing, getting (and covering up) matching tattoos, and professing their love for one another on the public stage. Their tumultuous relationship has been accompanied by a Grammy performance, numerous awards, and collaborations including “Work”, “What’s My Name?”, and “Take Care”. Given that Rihanna is definitely not single now, a Drake appearance might not be in the cards… but what if it was?
A little-known fact about Rihanna is that she is obsessed with the Real Housewives franchise. She’s expressed support for Beverly Hills, New York, Potomac, and Salt Lake City cast members including Heather Gay, Erika Jayne, Karen Huger, and Kathy Hilton. Given her love for the Bravo universe, she simply must bring a Housewife out at the Super Bowl, and there is no one better than Lisa Rinna. The RHOBH star once posted a video of her dancing to Rih’s song “S&M” after Rihanna sent her a set of Savage x Fenty black lingerie, plus Rinna is known for her dance moves, so there is no one else more qualified to provide some backup moves during a halftime cameo.
It’s time for Rihanna’s Navy and Nicki’s Barbz to assemble! Both of these fan bases have a lot of passion and power, so it’s time to put it to work to get Nicki on stage at the Super Bowl, ten years after her first appearance during Madonna’s performance. Rihanna and Nicki have a history of friendship, as evidenced by their Instagram posts when reuniting after pandemic lockdowns. Their friendship, in addition to their collaboration on the song “Fly”, makes Nicki one of the more realistic speculations for a halftime show cameo. Fingers crossed it actually happens.
The Cast of Ocean’s 8
We would be remiss to discuss Rihanna without mentioning her role in the iconic film Ocean’s 8. She starred as hacker Nine Ball in the 2018 spin-off of the Ocean’s trilogy, about a diamond heist at the Met Gala. The film was great, but the cast was even better. It would be absolutely epic if she brought out her costars Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, and Awkwafina for a Super Bowl reunion dance party.
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