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Rihanna on why she decided to perform at the Super Bowl after turning it down in 2019


Inez & Vinoodh

Rihanna returned to the stage for the halftime performance at Super Bowl LVII, but she could’ve had her halftime show a few years back. The singer turned down the opportunity in 2019, in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, who was ousted from the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality. 

In her cover story for British Vogue, Rihanna shared her belief that “there’s still a lot of mending to be done,” but took the opportunity for the message it would send, especially after last year’s hip-hop halftime show.

“It’s powerful to break those doors, and have representation at such a high, high level and a consistent level,” she says. “Two Super Bowls back-to-back, you know, representing the urban community, globally. It is powerful. It sends a really strong message.”

After Rih took the Super Bowl stage Sunday, and revealed she was pregnant again, footage surfaced of her boyfriend, A$AP Rocky, cheering her on. Rihanna says he’s her best friend, noting their parenthood journey has had a positive effect on their bond.

“We’re best friends with a baby … We have to be on the same page, but we’ve always kind of had that in our relationship,” she says. “Everything changes when you have a baby but I wouldn’t say it’s done anything but made us closer.” Watching Rocky with their son, she adds, made her realize “that the validation that you really need as a boy is from your father.”

As far as a new album goes, Rih admits “there’s this pressure that I put on myself. That if it’s not better than that then it is not even worth it.” So, instead of “waiting until this feels right,” she’s going to play. She wants to release an album sometime this year.

The March issue of British Vogue is available on newsstands and via digital download from Tuesday 21st February.

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