Rihanna is preparing to shine bright like a diamond at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show, but she was initially wary to accept the offer.
“It was so scary! It was kind of unexpected, my son was only 3 months old [when I got the call]. I haven’t performed in like 7 years,” the Fenty mogul, 34, confessed during a Sunday, February 12, appearance on iHeartMedia and NFL’s the “Process with Nate Burleson” podcast. “2016 was my last tour [and] that to me was the last time I remember being out there on the stage. I miss it. To come back from zero to the Super Bowl is kind of nuts!”
She continued: “A challenge gets me excited and that was the real push for me. I just want to put on a great show, and I want to enjoy it. I don’t want the pressure to succumb me.”
Rihanna — who gave birth to her first child with boyfriend ASAP Rocky in May 2022 — announced the following September that she would headline the big game’s halftime show.
“When you become a mom, there’s something that just happens where you feel like you can take on the world and do anything. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world,” the “Diamonds” singer said during a press conference earlier this week. “As scary as that was … there’s something exhilarating about the challenge of it all.”
She added at the time: “It’s important for me to do this, this year. It’s important for representation, it’s important for my son to see that.”
Rihanna was previously in the running to headline the halftime show in 2017 but turned it down in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly in October 2018. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
Kaepernick, 35, made headlines in 2016 when he kneeled in a peaceful protest against racial inequality and police brutality during the national anthem at his NFL games. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was since benched from future games, which he blamed on the football league and his team’s owners for intentionally keeping him off the field as a punishment.
Since saying “yes” to the NFL’s offer this year, Rihanna has been tight-lipped about her concert plans.
“I’m thinking about bringing someone [as a guest performer]! We’ll see,” the Ocean’s 8 star teased to host Nate Burleson on Sunday, before noting that she was particularly inspired by the 2013 show. “I watched Beyoncé’s halftime performances a couple of times. She is a beast and a whole other level. Just to be inspired, really.”
Rihanna’s makeup artist, Priscilla Ono, is also planning to make the Barbados native’s show one to remember.
“It’s a super iconic moment. As I thought about her glam, I knew I wanted to create something that is timeless, something we’ll all look back at and be like, ‘Wow, that makeup would look good in any era, in any year,’” Ono, Fenty Beauty’s global makeup artist, exclusively told Us earlier this month. “I don’t want anything too trendy, so that’s really what I have in my mind about the look I’m going to do.”
She added: “It takes weeks … at least like two to three weeks to prepare. I’m around for all of the creative processes because it gets my wheels turning, and it helps me to start thinking about the look. I’m watching the rehearsals. I’m looking at the lighting. I’m peaking at the wardrobe.”
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Super Bowl LVII airs on FOX on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET.