Why Rihanna won’t earn a dollar for her Super Bowl halftime show


The pop star turned beauty mogul won’t earn a cent on Monday — and it’s not because she’s a billionaire.

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Rihanna won’t be paid for Super Bowl halftime show

In 2019, Rihanna famously turned down the chance to headline the Super Bowl halftime show, telling Vogue she did so in support of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was ousted from the NFL for kneeling in protest of systemic racism and police brutality. “I just couldn’t be a sellout,” the popstar said at the time, “I couldn’t be an enabler.”

Now, the singer turned beauty billionaire is set to take the stage as the Apple Music halftime act for Super Bowl LVII in front of an estimated 190 million viewers on Sunday. “I felt like it was now or never for me,” Rihanna said in an interview a few months ago. “The Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world, it’s an entertainer’s dream to be on a stage like that.”

The performance marks Rihanna’s return to music after nearly six years away.

In October, she released her first single since 2017—“Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. Not that the 34-year-old singer has been slacking off during her hiatus from music.

In addition to giving birth to her first child in May, the 34-year-old has built Fenty Beauty—launched six years ago with luxury goods giant LVMH—into one of the most inclusive and successful cosmetics brands in the industry, worth an estimated $2.8 billion. I

n 2018, she also launched the lingerie brand Savage X Fenty, which was weighing a $3 billion IPO, following a US$125 million funding round last year. Together the businesses make up the vast majority of Rihanna’s estimated US$1.4 billion fortune.

So it’s a good thing she’s not hard pressed for cash, because Rihanna won’t be paid for her Super Bowl performance as is custom for halftime headliners.

While A-list performers including Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga don’t get paid, the show does offer huge benefits from the exposure to a massive audience. This year, the number of viewers is expected to top 192 million. Call it the halftime show effect: When Lady Gaga took the stage in 2017, her album and song sales, for example, increased 1000%, Billboard reported, and Jennifer Lopez gained 2.3 million new followers across social media after she and Shakira headlined in 2020.

This article was first published on forbes.com

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