Super Bowl Halftime Show: Rihanna's First Live Event in 7 Years

Chris Stapleton will handle the national anthem
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 12, 2023 10:15 AM CST
Super Bowl Halftime Show: Rihanna's First Live Event in 7 Years
Rihanna speaks during a halftime show news conference ahead of the Super Bowl 57 NFL football game, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

A halftime show that Rihanna promises will be “jam-packed” will sit at the center of the celebrity supplements to Super Bowl 57. But the 13-minute mini-extravaganza, her first live event in seven years, is only one part of the entertainment sideshow surrounding Sunday's big game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, per the AP.

  • Anthem: Chris Stapleton, who has dominated country music awards in recent years, will take on the challenge, and scrutiny, of singing the national anthem. “The national anthem's not an easy song for singers. It's one that can go horribly wrong as we've seen many times in the past," Stapleton said during the leadup to the game. "But if you're gonna do it, this is the place to do it. I'm gonna go out there and play. And play it like I play it.”
  • Bet on it: The length of the anthem has become one of the countless game elements up for betting. Oddsmakers have put the over-under on Stapleton's “Star Spangled Banner” at 2 minutes, 5 seconds.
  • Babyface: This being the Super Bowl, one anthem is not enough. R&B legend Babyface will perform “America the Beautiful."

  • One more: Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph will sing what's been dubbed the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
  • Other celebs: Famous faces are bound to be seen throughout the stands. Some will care more about the outcome than others. The Eagles count Kevin Hart and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney among their biggest fans. Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis pull hard for the Chiefs. Many stars have made the scene at Super Bowl week parties. And many others, including John Travolta and Alicia Silverstone, will show up in the big game's big commercials.
(More Rihanna stories.)

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