Taylor Swift Nixed Super Bowl Halftime Gig: Here’s Who Will Step Up
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 31: Musicians Rihanna and Taylor Swift attend the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on January 31, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
Lester Cohen/WireImage

Superstar performer Rihanna will headline the 2023 NFL Super Bowl Halftime Show, according to a report published on Sunday — following multiple reports indicating that Taylor Swift had turned down the gig.

The “Umbrella” hitmaker tweeted a simple photo on Sunday indicating the move — showing nothing but her tattooed wrist and hand holding up a football. She shared the same photo via her Instagram account.

Apple Music tweeted the same photo, adding the caption, “IT’S ON. @Rihanna will take the stage for the first ever Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show on 2.12.23. #SBLVII @NFL @NFLonFOX @RocNation.”

Roc Nation founder Jay-Z issued a statement seemingly confirming the move as well: “Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn. A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment.”

Rihanna had previously turned down an offer to headline the show at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, explaining after the fact that the controversy surrounding former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had weighed heavily into her decision.

“I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler,” the star told Vogue in late 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.”

Rihanna’s news comes on the heels of reports that pop superstar Taylor Swift had turned down an offer for the 2023 show — saying that she would not perform at a Super Bowl until she had rerecorded all of her first six albums.

Swift vowed to rerecord the albums after talent manager and record executive Scooter Braun acquired the rights to her music in  2019 — a move that she said left her feeling “sad and grossed out.”

Braun later sold the rights to Shamrock Holdings in 2020, but Swift said she planned to rerecord them in an effort to take back her ownership of the music. She has already completed new recordings of “Red” and “Fearless” — leaving “Taylor Swift,” “1989,” “Speak Now,” and “Reputation.”

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