- Super Bowl LVI took place on Feb. 12, 2023.
- Rihanna headlined the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
- Chris Stapleton, Babyface, and Sheryl Lee Ralph also performed.
To some, the biggest night in music won’t be Coachella, The Grammys, The Eras Tour, or the nu-metal nostalgia weekender that is Sick New World. No, for fans who have been waiting for years, the biggest night of music took place on Feb. 12, when Rihanna headlined the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Rihanna’s NAVY has been anticipating new music from Rihanna since she dropped Anti in 2016. They were also been counting down the months ever since the NFL announced that she would follow 2022’s hip-hop extravaganza (Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Anderson .Paak), which itself followed The Weeknd in 2021 and Jennifer Lopez/Shakira in 2020. What fans weren’t expecting was a baby announcement. Yes, Rihanna is pregnant with baby no. 2!
But, Rihanna’s wasn’t the only performance that went down. Check it out below!
Who Performed At The Super Bowl 2023 Halftime Show?
One word: Rihanna. Check out our coverage here (and the full show here.)
She confirmed her return to the stage on Sept. 25 by posting a photo of her holding an NFL-branded football. Soon afterward, both Roc Nation – Jay-Z’s production company producing the Super Bowl Halftime show since 2020 – and the NFL confirmed that Rihanna was the 2023 Halftime headliner.
Yes. Yes. Yes. 💃 @Rihanna #AppleMusicHalftime pic.twitter.com/1aaU8TOpNQ
— NFL (@NFL) February 13, 2023
“I can’t believe I even said yes. It was one of those things that even when I announced it, I was like, ‘OK, I can’t take it back. Now, it’s like final,'” Rihanna told Entertainment Tonight in November 2022. “The Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world, it’s an entertainer’s dream to be on a stage like that. But it’s nerve-racking. You want to get it right. You know, everybody’s watching. And they’re rooting for you. And I want to get it right.”
Rihanna said that being a new mother, “nothing would have gotten me out of the house if it wasn’t a challenge like that. You could get real comfortable being at home as a mom, [so this is] challenging myself to do something that I’ve never done before in my career. I have to live up to that challenge.” During the interview, Rihanna wouldn’t share what she had planned but shared that she wanted to “incorporate a lot of culture” into her performance.
“I want to incorporate different aspects of entertainment and things that I just enjoy and bring it to the stage,” she said. “I want to celebrate the music that I’ve made.”
At Apple Music’s press conference three days before the Super Bowl, Rihanna confirmed that her halftime show will be 13 minutes long. She also said that her performance will be “a celebration of my catalog.” Rihanna revealed that she’s been “so focused” on the Super Bowl that she forgot about her birthday and Valentine’s Day, which are coming up. “It’s a lot of preparation and a lot of moving parts. This is the week that it really is being tested,” she explained. “Everyone’s dialing in. Everyone’s tuning up. It’s literally like 300 to 400 people breaking the stage down and building it back up, and getting it out in eight minutes. It’s incredible. It’s almost impossible. We’ve been working on it for a while and everyday just gets closer and closer to the finished product.”
Rihanna probably doesn’t have to worry. Snoop Dogg thinks she has it in the bag. “I can’t give her any advice,” Snoop told HollywoodLife when asked if he had any pointers. “She’s one of the greatest to do it. She knows what to do. But I do know that she’s gonna create a show that everyone will talk about for many generations.”
Who Sung The National Anthem At Super Bowl 2023?
The NFL announced on Jan. 24 that country star Chris Stapleton would perform the United States national anthem at Super Bowl LVII. Chris continues a streak of country stars singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Big Game, with Mickey Guyton performing the anthem in 2022.
Check out our coverage here (and the full performance here).
Ahead of the 2022 Super Bowl, Mickey revealed that she received hate comments over her securing the gig. “This is what I see in my mentions on a daily basis,” she said while reposting a troll’s comments about how she was “country music’s resident black woman” who only got the job “because she’s black and she’s female. No other reason.” Mickey said that this kind of hate “never stops. But guess what? I will never stop.”
Chris revealed at the Apple Music’s 2023 Super Bowl press conference that he didn’t expect to be asked to perform at the big game. “It’s one of those calls you think you’re not gonna get. And then you get the call and you’re like, ‘Okay, let’s do this.’ ”
Were There Any More Performers?
The NFL also announced that Babyface will sing “America The Beautiful.” The R&B legend and producer/writer of 125 Top 10 hit records – including 44 No. 1 R&B hits and 16 No. 1 Pop Hits – will show why he’s a twelve-time Grammy Award-winner when he sings the song ahead of the game.
Check out our coverage here (and the full performance here).
Babyface said at the Apple Music press conference that he “was surprised” he was invited to sing at the Super Bowl. “I was like, ‘This was not on my bucket list and was not anything I ever imagined that I would do.’ But I’m so honored. And also with who I’m singing with.”
Fresh off her Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Performance in a Television Series, Sheryl Lee Ralph showcased her Tony Award-nominated voice (she was up for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical for Dreamgirls in 1982) at the Super Bowl. The Abbot Elementary star, whose vocal cords could move clouds and shake the ground, brought gravitas and grace when she performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a hymn referred to as “The Black national anthem” in America.
Check out our coverage here (and the full performance here)
Sheryl explained at Apple Music’s press conference that she instantly accepted the offer to sing at the Super Bowl. “Thrilled. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be singing at the Super Bowl,” she said. “What is it, 100 million people in the audience? Just a little small thing, you know. But yes!”Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.