Rihanna Explains Decision To Perform At Super Bowl Despite Boycotting In 2019: ‘Sends A Really Strong Message’

Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images

Rihanna is opening up about why she decided to perform during the Super Bowl LVII halftime show despite turning down the same opportunity in 2019.

The 34-year-old singer said at the time she “just couldn’t be a sellout” by performing amid the controversy with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem to protest alleged racial injustice in the United States. 

“I couldn’t be an enabler,” Rihanna said in October 2019. “There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”

But did the performer believe that’s all changed in 2023? 

While Rihanna said “there’s a lot of mending to be done,” she also felt it was “powerful to break down those doors and have representation at such a high, high level.”

“Two Super Bowls back-to-back, you know, representing the urban community, globally. It is powerful. It sends a really strong message,” Rihanna told British Vogue during a new interview. This comment referred to last year’s Super Bowl halftime show, which included performances by Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem. 

The “Umbrella” singer said having her first child also played into the decision. 

“Raising a young black man is one of the scariest responsibilities in life. You’re like, ‘What am I leaving my kids to? This is the planet they’re gonna be living on?’ All of those things really start to hit differently,” she told the publication.

Rihanna surprised fans by agreeing to perform after boycotting the event so publicly just a few years ago. Then she shocked them again during the show after taking the stage in a form-hugging outfit that showed off her baby bump. Her representative later confirmed that Rihanna is pregnant.

Later in the interview, the Barbados-born recording artist said her decision to perform was also spurred by becoming a mom. “It’s this knowing that you can do anything,” she told British Vogue.

“What the heck am I thinking? But you’re geeked on a challenge like that because you know what your body just did,” Rihanna continued. “You feel this sense of ‘Nothing is impossible.’” 

The singer previously talked about how she only chose projects that she considered worthy of her time ever since having her son.

“When you make decisions of what you’re going to say yes to, it has to be worth it,” she said during a press conference with Apple Music, as The Daily Wire previously reported. “It’s important for me to do this this year. It’s important for representation. It’s important for my son to see that.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Rihanna Explains Decision To Perform At Super Bowl Despite Boycotting In 2019: ‘Sends A Really Strong Message’