After years away from the stage, Rihanna is back. On Friday, she’ll release her first single in six years. And in February, she’ll headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
“I think it’s super cool,” said sophomore liberal arts major Eugenie Foss. “I love Rihanna especially, her hits are definitely a part of our childhood culture. I think there’s always a need for more female artists performing at the Super Bowl.”
Rihanna declined an offer to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl in support of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who was blacklisted by the NFL for taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest police violence and other injustices against Black Americans.
The selection of Rihanna to headline now is surprising, considering her business ventures. She launched Fenty Beauty and a fashion house, Fenty, in 2017, and a lingerie line Savage X Fenty in 2018. Rihanna also started acting more, with a small role in “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” in 2017, a larger role in the ensemble cast of “Ocean’s Eight” in 2018, and in Childish Gambino’s short film “Guava Island” in 2019.
“She hasn’t been out there in a while, so I’m hoping maybe she’ll perform some of her old hits,” said Kiara Bullard, a freshman psychology major. “Literally just going to watch, just for that.”
Her last performance was of “Wild Thoughts” during the 2018 Grammy Awards, so it makes sense for Rihanna to go back to her old songs and take an approach to reintroduce herself.
Rihanna’s last album, “Anti,” came out in 2016. Since then she’s made appearances on a few singles — “Lemon” by N.E.R.D, “Loyalty” by Kendrick Lamar, and “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled with Bryson Tiller — but all of them came out in 2017. She was also featured on “Believe It” by PartyNextDoor in 2020.
Rihanna will be making a return to music this Friday with her newest drop “Lift Me Up,” which is set to be the lead single for the upcoming Marvel movie “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
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