Rihanna took centre stage on Sunday at the Super Bowl 2023 halftime show. The highly anticipated concert was the singer’s first performance in seven years.
The singer sent fans into a frenzy speculating she is pregnant with her second child during the show. Her representatives later confirmed the pregnancy to The Hollywood Reporter.
Each year, the NFL recruits some of the biggest names in music to put on a show-stopping performance. From Beyoncé to Paul McCartney to Lady Gaga, the Super Bowl halftime show has attracted millions of viewers worldwide, which is why so many artists dream of the day they will be asked to put on their own 13-minute concert.
But it’s not the big pay day that entices musicians to put on a Super Bowl halftime show. In fact, there is no pay day at all.
While it may come as a surprise to some, the truth is that Super Bowl halftime show performers don’t get paid for their concerts. Instead, the NFL pays for all expenses associated with putting on the halftime show, including travel costs.
In a statement to The Independent, a representative for the NFL confirmed that the football league “covers all costs associated with the show and does pay the halftime performers’ union scale.”
According to Forbes, union scale is "a fraction of the six- and seven-figure sums" the artists typically earn regularly.
However, putting on a halftime show can come at a hefty price. Production for the Super Bowl halftime show can cost up to $10m. In 2021, The Weeknd reportedly spent $7m of his own money to put on the show, as did Dr Dre the year before that.
To put on Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s 2020 halftime show, the NFL reportedly put down approximately $13m to cover the cost of staffers involved in the production, as well as the elaborate sets and audio equipment. As for Rihanna’s halftime show performance, a league spokesperson confirmed to Forbes that Apple Music is also expected to foot the bill alongside the NFL.
Although Rihanna won’t be receiving a paycheck for her concert, it seems the self-made mogul won’t need it, as she’s worth an estimated $1.7bn.
Instead, the “Umbrella” singer may gain some alternative streams of revenue for her performance. Ahead of the big game, the Savage x Fenty founder released a 17-piece Super Bowl-inspired collection, which included a T-shirt that read: “Rihanna concert interrupted by a football game, weird but whatever” and her take on a classic football jersey.
The collection, which is available on Savagex.com, ranges from $32.95 for a Fenty Super Bowl beanie to $112 for a “Property of Fenty” hoodie emblazoned with “Savage x Fenty LVII” on the back.
The singer also dropped a second nine-piece capsule collection in collaboration with the NFL and sporting goods company Mitchell & Ness. Items such as official NFL-branded T-shirts and hoodies featuring Rihanna’s hand holding a football are available to purchase online.
Multiple sources have reported that Rihanna is also filming a documentary with Apple TV+, which will show the lead-up to her major halftime show performance and her life as a new mother.
Super Bowl LVII will take place on Sunday 12 February at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, and will see the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs.
At a press conference for the halftime show on Thursday 9 February, Rihanna was asked about her forthcoming performance. The “Work” singer admitted that “there are probably 39 different versions of the setlist right now”.
“The setlist was the biggest challenge,” she said. “That was the hardest, hardest part, deciding how to maximise 13 minutes... That’s what this show is going to be, it’s going to be a celebration of my catalogue in the best way that we could have put it together.”
“You only have 13 minutes, that’s the challenge, so you’re trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes,” she explained. “It’s difficult – some songs we’ve had to lose because of that and that’s going to be okay. But I think we did a pretty good job at narrowing it down.”