Super Bowl

Rihanna Studied Beyoncé's Super Bowl Halftime Performances to Prepare for 2023 Show

Rihanna says she drew inspiration from Beyoncé while prepping for her 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show performance. Find out what she said on a podcast before her debut at the big game

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Who run the world of Super Bowl Halftime Show performances? Just ask Rihanna.

While prepping for her Feb. 12 big game debut, the 2023 headliner turned to other pop queens for inspiration, namely Beyoncé. The "Crazy in Love" singer had performed at both the 2013 and 2016 NFL championships.

"I watched Beyoncé's halftime performances a couple of times," Rihanna said on the NFL podcast "The Process with Nate Burlesonon the iHeart network, in an episode released hours before the 2023 Super Bowl. "She is a beast and a whole other level. Just to be inspired, really."

Rihanna said that to prepare for her Super Bowl Halftime Show performance, she also rewatched other past female Super Bowl Halftime Show performers—Madonna, the 2012 headliner, and Janet Jackson, whose 2004 performance with Justin Timberlake was marred by a "wardrobe malfunction," as well as the late Whitney Houston's iconic performance of the U.S. national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl.

Rihanna recalled being invited to headline the Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show in August, 2022, soon after giving birth to her and A$AP Rocky's first child. "It was so scary because it was kind of unexpected," she said. "My son was only maybe 3 months old."

She continued, "I haven't performed in seven years—2016 was my last tour. That to me was the last time I remember being out there on the stage."

Rihanna's last full concert was at the 2016 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The last time she sang onstage was in 2019, when she performed at her 2019 Diamond Ball at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

"I miss it," Rihanna said on the podcast, speaking about performing. "But to come back from zero to the Super Bowl, like that's kind of nuts. I didn't know what to think. It's going to be a challenge and that gets me excited and I think that was the real push for me."

She continued, "I just want to put on a great show and I want to enjoy it. I don't want the pressure to succumb me."

The singer also teased at least one special guest. "I'm thinking about bringing someone," she said. "We'll see."

Rihanna talks about the thrills and the intense preparations that go into performing at the Super Bowl.
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