Rihanna Opens Up About Motherhood, Super Bowl: ‘It Was Now Or Never’

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) – Rihanna knew she would return to the stage less than a year after giving birth to her first childthe performance would have to top anything she had done before.

“When I leave my baby, I leave it for something special,” the multiple Grammy winner said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The special turned out to be the upcoming 2023 Super Bowl halftime show. “It was now or never for me,” she says.

The singer had previously refrained from appearing in the 2019 halftime show out of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. But in a recent interview ahead of their Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4, Rihanna said the timing and circumstances were right for her this time. “It was a challenge that I gladly accepted. It was a stage bigger than anything I’ve ever done,” she said.

After the NFL announced in late September that Rihanna would helm the February show, hopeful rumors spread about a long-awaited new album, which she’s been touting for the past few years. Their last album “ANTI” was released in 2016.

Though the pop star recently released her first new song in six years, the lead single for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, she was quick to shut down speculation that her Super Bowl appearance meant an album was imminent. “That’s not true. Super Bowl is one thing. New music is another thing. Are you hearing that, fans?” she said, laughing.

“When I announced that, I was like, ‘Oh my god, they’re going to think my album is coming. I have to go to work,” she recalls.

Despite her quick return to the public eye after the birth, Rihanna and rapper A$AP Rocky have kept the details about their baby a secret. The two have not revealed his name or photos of him.

“We just haven’t gotten to it yet, really. We just lived. But I think there’s a certain freedom that comes with it, like putting it out there,” she said.

As well as adjusting to life as a new mom, Rihanna has been busy preparing last year’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3, which garnered an Emmy and featured a long list of high-profile stars.

“It’s always a challenge to beat your predecessor,” she said. “Next year is actually going to be the biggest challenge because this year has been such a big show and I don’t know how we’re going to beat it but we have to try.”

This year’s show features appearances from Anitta, Maxwell and others, as well as a long list of appearances including Taraji P. Henson, Cara Delevingne and Sheryl Lee Ralph. AP’s interview with Rihanna came before it was announced that Johnny Depp was scheduled to attend. Some people are unhappy with Depp’s legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard called for a boycott of Rihanna’s line if Depp was part of the show.

The Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 will stream Wednesday on Amazon Prime Video.

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