Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will be performing during the Super Bowl Halftime Show, when the big game comes to Miami in February. Thought by many to be the biggest stage in the world, it’s a coveted slot for artists that has showcased big sets from U2 to Beyoncé. However, there’s one elusive star that keeps turning it down.
In a new interview with Vogue, Rihanna confirms that she has turned down the chance to perform at the Super Bowl, citing protests from Colin Kaepernick and issues within the NFL as her reason for staying away.
“I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people,” she explains. “I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler.”
These comments especially sting, considering who has become involved in the Halftime entertainment. This year’s show is still sponsored by Pepsi, but produced in part by Roc Nation – the company founded by Rihanna’s friend and mentor Jay-Z. The deal struck between the league and the mogul has been controversial for some, and a step forward for others. Still, Jay’s involvement has not been enough to sway the “Stay” singer.
“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 adds.
Rihanna has also shared more details about her upcoming ninth studio album, hoping for fans to be patient while she fits in recording alongside the rest of her empire. “I have been trying to get back into the studio,” she explained.
“It’s not like I can lock myself in for an extended amount of time, like I had the luxury of doing before. I know I have some very unhappy fans who don’t understand the inside bits of how it works.”
Number nine is in the works though, and still promises some reggae vibes – with the “Work” sharing that it will be “reggae-infused” or “reggae-inspired.”
“It’s not gonna be typical of what you know as reggae. But you’re going to feel the elements in all of the tracks,” she tells Vogue. “Reggae always feels right to me. It’s in my blood. It doesn’t matter how far or long removed I am from that culture, or my environment that I grew up in; it never leaves. It’s always the same high. Even though I’ve explored other genres of music, it was time to go back to something that I haven’t really homed in on completely for a body of work.”
Later this month, Rihanna will release a “visual autobiography,” containing over 1,000 photos. You can find more details here.
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