Music

Rihanna Confirms Rumors She Turned Down the Super Bowl: 'I Just Couldn’t Be a Sellout'

Rihanna is explaining her decision to decline the Super Bowl halftime show.

In a new interview for Vogue‘s November cover story, the singer confirmed rumors that she had turned down the opportunity, citing disagreements with the NFL.

When asked if she had declined the halftime show in solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Rihanna, 31, responded, “Absolutely.”

“I couldn’t dare do that,” she continued. “For what? 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.”

Last month, the NFL announced that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira would be the the headlining acts for the halftime show on Feb. 2, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The announcement came after JAY-Z teamed up with the NFL to advise as a “live music entertainment strategist.” Through the deal, the rapper’s entertainment and sports company, Roc Nation, will consult the NFL on live events, including the Super Bowl halftime show.

Rihanna for Vogue

In October 2018, it was reported that “Work” singer had “declined” the opportunity to headline Super Bowl LIII scheduled for February 2019.

“Yes they asked her and yes, she declined,” a source with knowledge of the situation told PEOPLE at the time, adding that the decision was likely made in support of Kaepernick.

“That’s certainly what everyone at the NFL believes,” the insider added. “I don’t work with Rihanna so I don’t know what her camp told them, but the word within the organization is that’s why she said no.”

The football player, 31, is known for starting the #TakeAKnee movement in 2016, where he declined to stand for the national anthem at games in protest of police brutality and the racial injustices faced by people of color in America.

Rihanna for Vogue

In her Vogue interview, Rihanna also opened up about her highly-anticipated upcoming album.

“I like to look at it as a reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album,” the musician shared. “It’s not gonna be typical of what you know as reggae. But you’re going to feel the elements in all of the tracks … Reggae always feels right to me. It’s in my blood.”

“It doesn’t matter how far or long removed I am from that culture, or my environment that I grew up in; it never leaves,” she continued. “It’s always the same high. Even though I’ve explored other genres of music, it was time to go back to something that I haven’t really homed in on completely for a body of work.”

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