Rihanna opened up about her decision to accept a performance at the 2023 Super Bowl in the new issue of Vogue UK. After previously turning down the decision to stand in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, RiRi had a change of heart in the fall of 2022, when she decided to take the offer. “There’s still a lot of mending to be done in my eyes,” she admitted to the mag. “But it’s powerful to break those doors and have representation at such a high, high level and consistent level.”
Rihanna also pointed out that her Super Bowl performance would be the second in a row that “represented the Urban community globally,” following Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Eminem’s 2022 set. When she accepted this offer this time, she had also recently become a mom to a Black son. “Raising a young Black man is one of the scariest responsibilities in life,” she shared. “You’re like, ‘What am I leaving my kids to? This is the planet they’re going to be living on?’ All of those things really start to hit differently.”
Rihanna is joined by her son, now 9 months, and partner, A$AP Rocky in her Vogue UK shoot. She said that becoming a mom helped realize that she can ‘do anything,’ which is also part of the reason she took on the Super Bowl, despite being just four months postpartum at the time the news was announced. Plus, she didn’t even know at that time that she was also pregnant AGAIN, which she revealed by debuting her baby bump DURING the Feb. 12 performance.
“What the heck [was] I thinking?” she wondered. “But you’re geeked on a challenge like that because you know what your body just did. You feel this sense of ‘Nothing is impossible.’ [When the news was announced] it was almost like an out-of-body experience. I have not been on stage in seven years. Seven years! From zero to Super Bowl? That’s mental!”
RiRi’s interview was done in January, before she took the Super Bowl stage, but she said that she was hoping to “put on a show” and “have fun” with her performance. “I haven’t done this in a minute and I’m doing this for the people that love my music, the people that have supported me and gotten me to this place in my career,” she said. “And who miss me as a musician, in particular. It’s me really just getting back onstage — a crazy stage to be back on — but I’m really doing this for my fans.”
As for her decision to not do any costume changes, Rihanna added, “You get 12 to 13 minutes. You just want to come out, rock out and be done. Costume changes aren’t fun.”
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