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Rihanna on the “Jam-Packed” Super Bowl Halftime Show and the Hardest Part of Preparation

Rihanna wore Alaïa to the press conference. Photo:

The countdown for Rihanna‘s return to the stage with the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show is on, and fans have their eyes and ears open for any details they can get. Ahead of her live performance on Sunday, February 12, the singer held a press conference with Apple Music to discuss what viewers can expect, and share that the halftime show is all that’s on her mind recently.

“I’ve been so focused on the Super Bowl that I totally forgot that my birthday [February 20] is coming up,” she said. “I totally forgot about Valentine’s Day, I’m just like Super Bowl, Super Bowl, Super Bowl. It’s a lot of preparation. It’s a lot of moving parts and this week, this is the week that it is really being tested.”

Read on for everything Rihanna divulged about the upcoming live performance.

Curating the perfect setlist was her biggest challenge

“That was the hardest, hardest part. Deciding how to maximize 13 minutes but also celebrate—that’s what the show is gonna be,” she said. “It’s going to be a celebration of my catalog in the best way that we could have put it together.”

“Trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes” has been “difficult” she added. “Some songs we had to lose because of that and that’s gonna be okay. But I think we did a pretty good job of narrowing it down. There’s probably been about 39 versions of the setlist right now. We’re on our 39th. Every little change counts.”

The show is going to be “jam-packed” till the last second

“There are a lot of people who are part of this show and a huge part of the reason why this show is gonna be as incredible as it is,” Rihanna said. “I couldn’t have done it without them, but you know what? At the end of the day, if it flops or it flies, my name has to stand by that.”

“The physical challenge has definitely been immense, for many reasons, of course,” she shared. “I haven’t done this in a minute, first things first. And you’re just running around for 13 minutes, trying to put a two-hour set in 13 minutes. And you’re gonna see on Sunday, from the time it starts, it just never ends until it’s the very last second. It’s a jam-packed show.”


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Why motherhood motivated her to accept the gig

“It feels like [playing the Super Bowl] could have only been now,” she said. “When I first got the call to do it again this year I was like, ‘Are you sure? I’m three months postpartum. Should I be making major decisions like this right now? I might regret this,'” Rihanna added. “When you become a mom there’s something that happens where you feel like you can take on the world and can do anything. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world. As scary as it 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 year. It’s important for my son to see that.”

Representation and her Caribbean roots will be a major part of the performance

“That’s a big part of why it’s important for me to do this show,” she said. “Representing for immigrants, representing for my country, Barbados, representing for Black women everywhere. That’s key for people to see the possibilities and I’m honored to be here.”

“I’m really excited to have Barbados on the Super Bowl stage,” she added.

On a potentially new era of music

“Musically, I’m feeling open,” she said. “I’m feeling open to exploring, discovering, creating things that are new, things that are different, things that are off, weird. Might not ever make sense to my fans, to the people that know the music that I’ve put out. I just want to play. I want to have fun. I want to have fun with music.”

Read Next: Rihanna Shares A First Glimpse Of Her Super Bowl Wardrobe

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