Rihanna not receiving anything for her Super Bowl halftime performance is absurd.

Rihanna not receiving anything for her Super Bowl halftime performance is absurd.

There are only two days before Super Bowl Sunday, and anticipation is already rising throughout the nation for every aspect of The Big Game—aside, of course, from the actual playing and viewing of football.

Trailers, puppies, and calorie-dense dips: Rihanna’s halftime show will be both her first live performance in nearly five years as well as her ascent into the Superb Owl stratosphere—and possibly some new music, although she’s keeping her Fenty-clad lips pretty firmly closed on that point. Nothing is receiving more attention than Rihanna’s halftime performance, which she originally turned down the opportunity to perform on back in 2020.

This is the ideal moment to bring up one of the most peculiar elements of the halftime show narrative, a flurry of branding, sponsorships, and millions of dollars floating around: With the exception of publicity, the most despised of all online currencies, Rihanna isn’t being paid for any of it.

It’s true that “exposure” means a lot more when 100 million (or perhaps 200 million, as predictions suggest) people are watching you rock the house than it does when a Twitch streamer with a few dozen followers approaches an artist and requests a free piece of work.

The Weeknd and Dr. Dre allegedly each contributed an additional $7 million in personal funds for their respective performances in 2021 and 2022. The League does, however, receive support from sponsors like this year’s Apple Music to help cover performance costs. (A request for comment regarding whether Rihanna was spending similarly for her own performance this year did not receive a response from the singer’s representatives.)

In light of everything, even if Rihanna won’t get payment for her time, she will still receive compensation: Additionally, Forbes releases information on how much influence past Super Bowl performers have accrued in the days and weeks following their brief appearances. The findings are impressive.

Lady Gaga claimed an immediate but significant 1000 percent increase in record and stream sales after her performance in 2017. Sales increases for Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar were less pronounced but nevertheless noteworthy. (Not to mention how their social media brands profitably expanded as millions of new followers faithfully flowed in.)

Rihanna and all of her linked businesses are already looking forward to a very successful day on Sunday, even without a brand-new album to market or a genuine, take-the-check-to-the-bank payday.

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