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Will Rihanna Crack Our List of the Top 5 Super Bowl Halftime Shows Ever?

It wasn’t that long ago Rihanna and the NFL found themselves in a hopeless place.

On two occasions, in 2018 and 2019, the league asked the singer to headline the Super Bowl halftime show and both times she said no. The rejections were said to be an act of solidarity with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who many people believe was run out of the NFL for his insistence on taking a knee during the national anthem during the 2016 season. Kapernick did so to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

Rihanna was asked in Vogue in 2019 if that was truly the reason she turned down the NFL.

“Absolutely,” Rihanna said. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”

She’s now, quite clearly, had a change of heart. Rihanna announced on social media Monday she’ll perform at Super Bowl 57 in February, her first live performance in over five years.

 

 

The change of attitude is almost certainly due to the fact the Super Bowl halftime show is now produced these days by Jay-Z and his entertainment agency, Roc Nation, which signed Rihanna in 2014.

Rihanna’s selection comes after numerous reports this week that Taylor Swift was offered the opportunity before ultimately deciding against it.

Last year’s show was headlined by Dr. Dre and that’s where we’ll begin, as Faces presents the Top 5 Super Bowl Halftime shows of all-time. Can Rihanna knock off one of these performances?

#5 2022 Super Bowl 56: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent

It was Hip-hop’s maiden voyage on sports’ biggest stage. With 44 Grammys and 22 No. 1 Billboard albums, the NFL had never had so much musical talent on one stage and even found a clever way to make the one stage feel like five.

#4 2016 Super Bowl 50: Coldplay feat. Beyonce & Bruno Mars

 Beyonce could easily be on this list alone for her solo performance in 2013. While she and Bruno Mars both overshadowed Coldplay, they were all great, with a little something for everyone.

#3 2017 Super Bowl 51: Lady Gaga

 While things started a little slowly, with Lady Gaga gently singing God Bless America, she livened things up a little…by jumping off the stadium roof! LG then lowered herself by wire right onto a giant podium. From there, like the game, it was fireworks, action and massive hits – even a nice diving catch at the end.

#2 2002 Super Bowl 36: U2

This performance will be remembered most for its 9/11 tribute, coming just five months after the attacks. It featured Bono belting out the haunting, “MLK,” while an enormous scroll with all the names of the 9/11 victims was unfurled. The Edge then launched into “Where the Streets Have No Name,” and the crescendo was breathtaking. Goosebumps all around.

#1 2009 Super Bowl 43: Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band

It’s tough to argue with The Boss. And when he says you should put down you guacamole and chicken fingers and turn your TV all the way up, you better damn well do what he says.

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