**FILE** Rihanna attends the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Anniversary Event at Overseas Passenger Terminal on October 3, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Caroline McCredie/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty by Rihanna)

In a 2019 Vogue article, singer and beauty business billionaire Rihanna revealed that she turned down an opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl, citing the contentious relationship between the NFL and African Americans — particularly after football star turned activist Colin Kaepernick was reprimanded and blacklisted for kneeling during the singing of the national anthem.

“I couldn’t dare do that. For what?” Rihanna said in the interview. “Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”

On Feb. 12, a pregnant Rihanna performed a solo set at Super Bowl LVII held in Scottsdale, Arizona. Revealing her pregnancy at the top of the show, the nine-time Grammy winner and Bajan queen floated high in the sky on a platform, accompanied by dancers for a more than 13-minute performance.

Although some people are accusing Rihanna of being a sellout after her words admonishing the NFL just four years ago, the mother and star has a couple of reasons she might have been willing to change her tune when it comes to the professional football organization.

While Maroon 5 performed in the Super Bowl in 2019 — joined by rappers Big Boi and Travis Scott, later that year “that organization” turned to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to take over the halftime show. Rihanna is signed to Roc Nation, thus Jay-Z is her boss.

Further, since 2019, the league has worked to strengthen relationships with the African American community. While the NFL has admitted there’s still work to do to empower African Americans in a league with 70% Black players, such as having more Black coaches and owners, there have been steps taken to improve relations such as partnering with the Contract with Black America Institute (CWBA), Ice Cube’s economic-inclusion focused initiative dedicated to increasing economic equity and partnerships with Black-owned businesses.

Finally, Rihanna doesn’t get paid directly by the NFL to perform at the Super Bowl. While the NFL covers expenses and production costs, money from the Rihanna Bowl will later be tallied in streams in sales from such ventures as her beauty company Fenty, which even had a brief cameo during the halftime show.

So, Rihanna’s not a sellout. She’s a businesswoman who knows she’ll get a big payback later, or as in the words of her famous song, “B**ch better have my money.”

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