Rihanna will end boycott to perform at tonight’s Super Bowl after turning it down
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It’s Super Bowl Sunday, they day when the world focuses attention on a stadium in the USA for the showpiece of a sport that few can truly claim to understand, and even fewer outside the US of A can claim they watch every week.
However, there is one part of the show outside the game that draws more attention than any other part of the whole Super Bowl experience – the halftime show.
And this year, they’ve got pop royalty in to perform the mid-game entertainment.
Rihanna is set to tread the hastily put-together stage, performing a medley of hits from across her career.
Her performance has attracted particular heat though, because she has previously turned down the opportunity to headline the event, boycotting the event because of racial injustices as highlighted by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick decided to protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement by taking a knee pitch-side before games, attracting much criticism from right-wing conservatives in the process.
At the time, Rihanna admitted that she’d turned down the half-time show for these reasons, stating that she ‘couldn’t be a sellout’.
Now though, she’s set to perform at the 57th staging of the biggest game in American Football.
So, what has changed?
In a 2019 interview, she explained her decision to boycott, stating her support for Kaepernick.
“Absolutely,” she said when asked if it played a part in her turning down the offer.
“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.
“There’s things within that organisation that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
Instead, that year the fans were treated to a performance from Maroon 5, which everyone was no doubt delighted about.
This time out, Rihanna has decided to take the gig, claiming that she’ll use the huge platform offered to her to represent 'immigrants, represent for my country, Barbados, [and] represent for Black women everywhere'.
What’s more, she hasn’t performed in a while, so even one of the world’s biggest stars is a bit nervous.
She said: “The Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world. As scary as that was because I haven’t been on stage in seven years, there’s something exhilarating about the challenge of it all.
“It’s important for me to do this, this year.
“It’s important for representation. It’s important for my son to see this.”
She added: “That’s a big part of why this is important for me to do this show: representation.
“Representing for immigrants. Representing for black women everywhere. That’s key for people to see the possibilities.
“It’s a long way from home, right? It’s a beautiful journey that I’m on.
“I could have never guessed that I would have made it here, so it’s a celebration of that.
“I’m really excited to have Barbados on the Super Bowl stage.”
As for what she’ll be bringing to the party, we’ll just have to wait and see on that front.