Rihanna Says She’s ‘Nervous’ to Play the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Even Rihanna gets nervous sometimes. A little over a week after the 34-year-old pop star confirmed wildfire rumors that she’s set to headline the Super Bowl 2023 Halftime Show, she admitted that the daunting performance has her feeling a little anxious. But considering it’s consistently watched by 100 million or so viewers every year, it’s hard to imagine that anyone wouldn’t be.

While grocery shopping in Los Angeles, TMZ approached Ri — sporting black sunglasses and a long-sleeve DMX shirt — and asked her how she was feeling ahead of the Super Bowl, which is scheduled to take place Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Without missing a beat, the “Love On the Brain” singer answered candidly.

“I’m nervous,” she said, then after a pause, “but I’m excited.”

The publication pressed the Fenty Beauty founder for details on which guest performers might join her on the halftime show stage, but that’s when she got tight-lipped. She simply shrugged, flashed a peace sign and said, “Thank you, girl” to the TMZ reporter, who wanted to know specifically whether A$AP Rocky, Ri’s partner with whom she welcomed a baby boy in May, was also Super Bowl bound.

Though the nine-time Grammy winner could easily choose to fly solo during her halftime show, past headliners have typically invited guests onstage with them to help flesh out the roughly 15-minute set. Rihanna has worked with a handful of artists over the course of her two decades-long career, and any one of them could make a surprise appearance in Glendale this February.

There’s her “Umbrella” collaborator Jay-Z, her “Run This Town” and “FourFiveSeconds” partner Kanye West, her “Love the Way You Lie,” co-star Eminem, and Drake, with whom she released “What’s My Name?” “Take Care” and “Work.” Not to mention, there’s Coldplay (“Princess of China”), Shakira (“Can’t Remember to Forget You”), DJ Khaled (“Wild Thoughts”) and Kendrick Lamar (“Loyalty”).

But while many are eager to know what Rihanna has in store, fans are just excited that she’s planning on returning to music in any capacity. Barring any future events scheduled between now and Feb. 12, the halftime show will mark her first live performance in five years. She also hasn’t released any new music since her 2016 album Anti, and has primarily focused instead on building her Fenty Beauty and Fenty x Savage brands for the past six years.

Hannah Dailey