Rihanna's highly anticipated return to music and the stage will include the Super Bowl's first halftime show under the NFL's new sponsorship deal with Apple Music.
Rihanna will perform at the Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 12 as the NFL enters the first year of a new deal with Apple Music as primary sponsor of the halftime show, replacing Pepsi.
According to NFL head of music Seth Dudowsky, "We are thrilled to welcome Rihanna to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show stage. Rihanna is a once-in-a-generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career. We look forward to collaborating with Rihanna, Roc Nation and Apple Music to bring fans another historic Halftime Show performance."
Roc Nation and Jesse Collins will serve as the show's executive producers. Rihanna is both managed by Roc Nation and signed to its record label, according to the company's website.
This is the first scheduled return to the stage for the artist who last performed publicly at the Grammy Awards in early 2018, and whose most recent solo album, "Anti," was released in January 2016.
As a result, what would be Rihanna's ninth studio album has taken on a near-mythic quality among fans — who regularly refer to it as "R9" — even as the singer has focused instead on projects like her fashion and beauty brands. Earlier this year, Rihanna had her first child with the rapper ASAP Rocky.
In a 2019 interview with T Magazine, the singer said the new album would as long rumoured, be a reggae project while joking about the fan-given name. "I'm about to call it that probably, 'cause they have haunted me with this 'R9, R9, when is R9 coming out?' How will I accept another name after that's been burned into my skull?"