Rihanna on What to Expect From Her Super Bowl Halftime Show—and Why She’s Doing It For Her Son

This Sunday, Rihanna will perform on the Super Bowl Halftime Show, her first performance in years. And while she didn’t address whether or not she can be dropping any recent album during her interview today with Apple Music’s Nadeska Alexis ahead of the game-time show, she did share what to anticipate…and the way motherhood tied into her decision to go big in her music profession right away. Rihanna’s son will turn one this May.

Regarding the timing, Rihanna, dressed impeccably in Alaïa, said, “It appears like it could have only been now. I mean, once I first got the decision to do it again this yr, I used to be like, ‘Psst, you sure?’ I’m three months postpartum, like, should I be making major decisions like this now? Like I’d regret this. But if you grow to be a mom, there’s something that just happens where you’re feeling like you would tackle the world, you would do anything. And the Super Bowl is one in all the most important stages on the planet. In order scary as that was because I haven’t been on stage in seven years, there’s something exhilarating concerning the challenge of all of it. And it’s vital for me to do that this yr. It’s vital for representation, it’s vital for my son to see that.”

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rihanna at the super bowl halftime show press conference

Jeff Kravitz//Getty Images

The performance will likely be 13 minutes long, Rihanna revealed, saying that selecting what songs made the cut hasn’t been easy. “That was the toughest, hardest part—deciding find out how to maximize 13 minutes but in addition have fun,” she began, via Billboard. “That’s what this show’s gonna be. It’s gonna be a celebration of my catalog in one of the simplest ways that we could have put it together. You’re attempting to cram 17 years of labor into 13 minutes…but I believe we did a reasonably good job of narrowing it down. There have been probably about 39 version of the setlist right away. We’re on our thirty ninth. Every little change counts, whether I would like a guitar cut out, something muted, something added or simply put in a complete recent song, or take out a complete song.”

Rihanna didn’t reveal what songs she’d be performing, but she did share her favorites from her discography, which can offer some hints. “Okay, I actually enjoyed recording Loud and ‘Diamonds,’” she said. “I used to be on the road for each of those albums once I created them. I used to be touring one album, making the subsequent, after which I got here back and toured that album and made the subsequent, after which ANTI was the primary time that I took my time making an album while not being on tour. And that frustrated my fans a bit, and here I’m doing it again to them. But ANTI, of course, top favorite album I’ve ever made.”

Musically now, Rihanna is in a spot of exploration. “I’m feeling open to exploring, discovering, creating, things which can be recent, things which can be different, things which can be off, weird, may not ever make sense to my fans, you realize, the folks that know the music that I put out,” she said. “I just wish to play. I would like to rejoice. I would like to rejoice with music.”

Headshot of Alyssa Bailey

Senior News and Strategy Editor

Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring Recent York City.

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