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.
Image: Courtesy of Getty Images
You guys, God might be real, because my prayers have never felt more answered than in this moment. For a while now, there have been rumors swirling that the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show would be headlined by Jennifer Lopez, AND. IT’S. HAPPENING. And that’s not all! IT’S. HAPPENING. WITH. SHAKIRA. Pardon me while I take a minute for some deep breaths.
Okay, I’m back. I needed those deep breaths. There’s no denying that J.Lo has had an amazing year, and this feels like the icing on the cake for her. She’s proven time and time again that she’s one of our longest-lasting, most electric icons, and this performance is her reward for decades of hard work and *hustling*. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one. J.Lo easily could’ve carried this show by herself, but Shakira is a smart addition. She brings her own set of amazing hits, incredible moves, and an energy that you can’t look away from.
Aside from me individually loving both of these ladies, they’re an especially perfect choice for this year’s Super Bowl. The big game is in Miami this year, and J.Lo and Shakira are two badass Hispanic women who have achieved massive success with both Spanish- and English-speaking audiences. Miami, with its large Hispanic population, is the exact right place for a cultural moment like this to happen.
Seriously, I couldn’t be happier about this decision, and I’m so glad that it’s actually happening. The NFL is usually a total sh*tshow of crime and brain injury, but at least Pepsi can plan a decent halftime show. This will also be a refreshing departure from the last two years, when the headliners have been boring white men (sorry Justin Timberlake, but “Sexyback” was a long time ago). J.Lo and Shakira aren’t a “safe” choice from a corporate perspective, but that’s only because most of the corporations are still run by old white men who are afraid of anyone who doesn’t look like them. But this might be the safest choice when it comes to performers who are guaranteed to put on an amazing, unforgettable show.
Personally, I’m going to spend the next four years thinking about what J.Lo will wear (spoiler: it’ll be something that 99% of people couldn’t pull off). This is going to be an epic show, and I might just have to watch the Super Bowl this year because of it. Sad!
Images: Shutterstock; jlo / Instagram
This Sunday is Super Bowl LIII, and I’ve spent this week desperately searching for any reason to care. I may not know much about the teams, or the rules, or literally anything else, but of course I’ve managed to pinpoint the one Kardashian connection to this whole thing. If I have one talent in this life, it’s spending way too much time thinking about the Kardashians. This theory could actually be bigger than Kylie announcing Stormi’s birth during last year’s Super Bowl, because fans think Travis Scott will propose to Kylie during this year’s halftime show.
As you may know, Maroon 5 is headlining this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. While my mom is very excited about this, I’m prepared to chop my ears off if I have to hear “Girls Like You” one more time. Luckily, they’ll be joined by Big Boi (of Outkast fame) and Travis Scott. If I have to hear “Sugar,” at least I’ll also get to hear “Sicko Mode.” You win some, you lose some. But in this situation, Travis Scott might be bringing more to the table than just his music.
From the second I heard he was performing, I was hoping that Kylie Jenner would show up at some Super Bowl-related events. While we don’t have confirmed details of anything yet, or even proof that Kylie will be in the same state as Travis, there’s a major theory gaining steam that Travis Scott will propose, and he and Kylie might get engaged during the big game. As long as they’re not already married, this honestly seems very possible, and I’m prepared to tell you why *dusts off laptop, opens up Powerpoint*.
First of all, Travis Scott recently told Rolling Stone that when he proposes to Kylie, it needs to be amazing: “We’ll get married soon. I just gotta sturdy up—I gotta propose in a fire way.” If I were Travis, I would buy an island in the Bahamas and propose in a ~fyre~ way, but I guess he’s not as into true crime documentaries as me.
Besides the Super Bowl being a massive occasion with tens of millions of people watching, it’s also a day with personal significance for Travis and Kylie. Last year, after basically going into hiding for the better part of a year, Kylie chose Super Bowl Sunday as the perfect time to drop the pregnancy reveal heard ’round the world. I personally remember crying while watching this video on a Subway platform, because that’s where my priorities are. Judge me all you want, I’m at peace with my life choices.
If you’re like me, this is potential Super Bowl proposal is the most exciting sports news you’ve heard in years. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. People are even betting on whether the proposal will go down on Sunday. I’m no expert at gambling, but right now the odds are +180 YES, and -220 NO, according to Monster Roster, an algorithm-driven betting service. My sources tell me that this means you should bet YES, because then you’ll win more if you’re right. Or you can just say f*ck it and get in on your boyfriend’s actual Super Bowl betting pool, because I don’t really know how any of this works.
We’ll be on high alert this Sunday for any proposal shenanigans, and you should be too. This year has already been stressful AF, so I really need this to happen right now. Come on Kylie, don’t let us down!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy; Kylie Jenner / YouTube