The NFL championship game Rihanna concert is almost here.
The singer made an appearance during a Super Bowl 2023 press conference in Phoenix, Ariz., on Thursday, where she teased what fans can expect from her long-awaited halftime show performance this weekend.
“We’ve been working on it for a while, and every day it just gets closer and closer to the finished product. Today’s a really big rehearsal, a really important one, that’s going to be crucial for Sunday,” Rihanna, chic in a leather jacket, edgy patterned dress and lace-up heels, said.
“It’s a lot of preparation. This is the week that – it really is [about] being tested. Everyone, we’re just tightening up everything, everybody’s dialing in, everybody’s tuning up and [it’s] a lot of moving parts,” she continued.
“I mean, 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.”
Rihanna admitted that the biggest challenge she’s faced in planning her “jam-packed show” so far was narrowing down her set list.
“That was the hardest, hardest part. Deciding how to maximize 13 minutes, but also celebrate. And that’s what this show’s going to be; a celebration,” the Barbados native shared.
“You’re going to see on Sunday, just from the time it starts, it just never ends, until it’s like the very last second,” she added. “There are a lot of people who are a part of this show, and a huge part of the reason why this show is going to be as incredible as it is. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
The “Work” singer, who turns 35 on Feb. 20, said that she’s been so hyperfocused on gearing up for the big game that she “totally forgot” about her upcoming birthday and Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14 with boyfriend A$AP Rocky. She and the rapper, 34, welcomed their first child together, a baby boy, back in May.
Rihanna noted that, while she’s spent decades in the spotlight, there was no better time than now to say “yes” to the coveted halftime gig after turning it down in 2019.
“It feels like it could have only been now. When I first got the call to do it again this year, I was like, ‘You sure? I’m three months postpartum, should I be making major decisions like this right now? Like, I might regret this,’” she recalled.
“But when you become a mom, there’s something that just happens where you feel like you can take on the world, you can do anything. And the Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world,” she continued.
“So 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. And it’s important for me to do this this year. It’s important for representation and it’s important for my son to see that.”
Rihanna’s halftime gig will mark her highly anticipated musical comeback, as she has not toured or released an album since 2016’s “Anti.”
Rumors have been swirling that the Fenty Beauty founder is expected to announce new music – and a subsequent tour – sometime after the star-studded Super Bowl weekend.
Reps for Rihanna and Live Nation did not immediately respond when Page Six reached out for comment.
Last week, Page Six Style exclusively chatted with Rihanna’s longtime makeup artist, Priscilla Ono, who teased the singer‘s halftime beauty look.
“It’s going to be an iconic look, that’s all I have to say,” she told us. “I want a makeup look that you can look back at, at any point in time, and be like, ‘That look? I want that on me now.’”
She continued, “I just want it to look super iconic. Nothing trendy, like no micro trends. Nothing that’s like, ‘OK, that was done in the 2010’s, 2020s.’ I want it to be super timeless.”
Rihanna confirmed she was headlining the 2023 halftime show by sharing a photo of herself holding a football via social media last September.
“Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn,” Roc Nation founder Jay-Z said in a statement at the time.
“A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment.”
Seth Dudowsky, Head of Music for the NFL, echoed those sentiments in his own statement, calling the “Diamonds” singer “a once in a generation artist” who has been “a cultural force” throughout her career.
“We look forward to collaborating with Rihanna, Roc Nation and Apple Music to bring fans another historic Halftime Show performance,” he added.
The Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium when Super Bowl LVII kicks off Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
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