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Rihanna Opens Up About ‘Weird’ Direction Her New Music Might Take


Rihanna has revealed that the music she’s been working on ahead of her Super Bowl Halftime Show performance will be unlike anything her fans are used to.

On Thursday (February 9), the singer offered some insight into her upcoming releases during an Apple Music press conference ahead of the Big Game on Sunday (February 12), sharing that her main priority right now is “to have fun.”

“Musically, I’m feeling open,” Rihanna 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, you know, the people that know the music that I put out. I just want to play. I want to have fun. I want to have fun with music.”

While her next project may surprise some, the Super Bowl Halftime Show performance is set to be dedicated to the music that made her “the wealthiest female musician in the world” (per Forbes) in 2021.

The 13-minute set — which will be broadcast by Fox during the NFL championship matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles — will be “a celebration of my catalogue in the best way we could have put it together,” Rihanna declared during the press conference.

“You only have 13 minutes, that’s the challenge, so you’re trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes,” she explained.  “So it’s difficult. You know, some songs we have to lose because of that, and that’s gonna be okay. But I think we did a pretty good job of narrowing it down.”

Prior to the press conference, very little was known about what the Fenty Beauty mogul had planned for the Super Bowl, other than reports that JAY-Z and his team at Roc Nation would be involved with the high-profile production.

In the weeks leading up to Rihanna’s first performance in just over six years, her fans have helped the singer’s last album, 2016’s ANTI, continue an impressive run on the charts.

According to Chart Datathe album not only returned to the chart at the end of January, but once again cracked the Top 100. All in all, ANTI has now appeared on the Billboard 200 for a total of 353 weeks, two of which it spent at the No. 1 position.

The news comes in the same week that found Rihanna not only celebrating her first Academy Awards nomination, but also a series of new Platinum certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Two songs from the 2016 album — “Same Ol’ Mistakes” and “Higher” — were certified Platinum for the first time on January 28; while “Desperado,” “Kiss It Better,” “Needed Me,” and “Love On The Brain” all added to their multi-Platinum status. The best selling song from the collection, ANTI‘s Drake-assisted lead single “Work,” is now certified 9x Platinum.

Just ahead of her press conference on Thursday, Apple Music also released a new trailer for the Super Bowl Halftime Show, which the company is sponsoring for the second year.


Soundtracked by the hook to JAY-Z’s hit single “Run This Town,” the clip takes viewers back to Rihanna’s hometown and shows the influence she maintains on young girls growing up in her Barbados neighborhood. The short film ends with an on-screen statement by Rihanna that reads, “My whole life was shaped on this very road. I was just a little girl flying kites in the cemetery… but I had big dreams.”

During her chat with Apple Music’s Nadeska Alexis, Rihanna also touched the cultural significance of this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show and its timing in her life.

“It feels like it could have only been now, Rihanna shared. “I mean, when I first got the call to do it again this year, I was like, “Psst, you sure?” I’m three months postpartum, like, should I be making major decisions like this now? Like I might regret this. But when you become a mom, there’s something that just happens where you feel like you could take on the world, you could do anything. And the Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world. 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, it’s important for my son to see that,” she continued. “I mean, it’s a long way from home, right? It’s a long way from home. It’s a beautiful journey that I’m on, and I could’ve never guessed that I would have made it here. So it’s a celebration of that. I’m excited to do that. I’m really excited to have Barbados on the Super Bowl stage.”


Though it’s unclear how long after the highly anticipated performance fans will have to wait for new music by Rihanna, she is reportedly working on a documentary about the performance, a music insider told The Sun in November.

“She will be recorded during rehearsals and meetings in the lead-up to the big night and give an insight into what her life is really like now she is returning to pop as a mum,” the source reportedly said. “Rihanna is a massive force to be reckoned with when it comes to music and so Apple has paid millions.”

The source added that Rih signed “a huge deal with Apple” for the documentary to appear on Apple TV+, but nothing has been confirmed by her camp just yet.

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