People love a special guest to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show.
What would Coldplay’s halftime show even have been without Bruno Mars and Beyoncé to shake things up? Certainly not the third most watched performance in the history of the game, with over 110 million views on YouTube.
And I don’t knock Coldplay. It’s clear they’ve helped draw viewers along for the ride.
This brings us to Rihanna, the multi-platinum Barbadian star who is set to headline the 2023 halftime show at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ, on Sunday, February 12.
To be clear, she’s one entertainer who needs no help pulling viewers along for the ride.
It could be argued, in fact, that she might be the biggest pop star of her generation with dozens of mega hit singles that could work into a fun halftime show. It has topped the Hot 100 14 times.
But many of her biggest successes have been collaborations, so why not revisit some of them?
She doesn’t hate the idea.
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The ‘Lift Me Up’ singer isn’t against special guests
In a recent interview with E, she said, “Twelve minutes? You can do it yourself, but it’s one of those things where you can decorate it however you want. So whether I choose to do it for myself or whether I choose to bring in some mates, it’s…”
The singer paused and then added, “I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. It’s going to be great either way.”
But if she decides to decorate her special moment with some famous friends, he takes a look at some potential contenders who could really bring some extra magic to the field.
Rihanna’s playlist: Her top 15 singles are through “Kiss It Better”.
Jay-Z on “Umbrella”?
Roc Nation and Jay-Z’s entertainment brand teamed up with the NFL in 2019 to select artists to work with the league, so he’s already shining at the Super Bowl.
He even in the NFL’s press release describes the woman he signed to Def Jam all those years ago as “the talent of a generation” and “a woman of humble beginnings who exceeded expectations at every turn.”
All of this is very true.
So why not join her on the big day, as she revisits the guest rap on “Umbrella”?
It remains one of her biggest hits, an eight-time platinum classic with one of the catchiest choruses to top the charts this century and just seven million shy of her one billion streams on Spotify.
So yeah, a lot of people would be thrilled to see her perform this song. If it were up to me – and trust me when I say it isn’t – it would be my first call.
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Speaking of a billion streams on Spotify, the Rihanna Drake collaboration has been there and done just that.
A haunting dance song with an understated groove, a steamy chorus for the ages and an absolutely fantastic chemistry between the two, it spent nine weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 on its way to eight times platinum.
And Drake has been redshirted to his Super Bowl. In the meantime, this would be the perfect opportunity for Drake to show the NFL what it’s been missing all these years.
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Shakira in the movie “I Can’t Remember to Forget You”
It’s not nearly as record-breaking as the others, but Shakira’s halftime show with J-Lo is, by far, the most watched halftime show on YouTube with over 254 million viewers.
There’s a poll running on Billboard.com where you can vote on Rihanna’s guests and Shakira is already doing her victory dance in the end zone with nearly 50 percent of the vote three months later.
And for obvious reasons. Who wouldn’t want Shakira and Rihanna to share the biggest stage in the world? If you’re even a little familiar with the music video, you know how exciting this can be. Exciter is a good thing, right?
It also has the most infection-like beat almost with an energy that’s hard to hit.
Unless you go with…
Calvin Harris on We Found Love
Among the questions that someone needs to answer? How is Calvin Harris not an option in a Billboard poll?
This nine-times platinum electric bomber spent 10 weeks at number one on Billboard’s Hot 100.
It’s the perfect way to give everything a fun finishing touch. Rihanna looks good in the club. And this ascending synth coming out of the chorus is a stroke of genius. I’m still very pleased with myself that I once summed it up as a “day in the life” of a dance floor.
Is it all too electronic dance music for viewers of a certain age? of course it is. But they were going to complain regardless. She could have brought the Beatles in and they still found a reason to complain.
Which brings me to my last suggestion.
Paul McCartney in “FourFiveSeconds”
Easy to use base. If you can bring the Beatle to the Super Bowl, bring the Beatle to the Super Bowl. You know your guy would do it in a heartbeat or he wouldn’t have agreed to sign up in the first place.
This is the problem with McCartney. This song also features Kanye West, who is persona non grata in most circles right now — Adidas, Gap, Balenciaga and Creative Artists Agency have severed ties with him in the wake of recent inflammatory behavior, which goes against the Anti-Defamation League.
But they can always do the song without him, just the opening with Beatle Paul on vocals and Rihanna on vocals. It would make a great little break, shake things up and get the Beatle on the field.
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