Adam Blackstone, a renowned musical director and bassist, has been tapped for Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show presented by Apple Music.
Blackstone is no stranger to the Super Bowl or working with Rihanna. He previously was the musical director (MD) for the last three Super Bowl shows, including the Emmy-winning Super Bowl LVI with Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and others. He also arranged Jazmine Sullivan’s rendition of the national anthem at Super Bowl LV with country singer Eric Church.
Outside the Super Bowl, Blackstone has worked as an MD for Rihanna’s 777 Tour, where she performed a concert in seven countries in seven days to promote her Unapologetic album. Released in 2012, the album scored Rihanna her first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart as well as a Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album.
Blackstone went on to music direct Rihanna’s Diamonds World Tour and all four of her Savage X Fenty Shows. Her most recent show, Vol. 4, premiered last November on Amazon Prime Video.
The anticipation for Rihanna’s halftime show is high, to say the least. She hasn’t released an album since 2016’s Anti, which has remained on the Billboard 200 chart since it first entered in February 2016.
Although she supported Anti on her Anti World Tour, Rihanna hasn’t publicly performed on stage since 2018 when she joined DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller at the Grammys to perform their hit “Wild Thoughts.”
Millions of people will be tuned in for the big game and to see Rihanna make her grand return on Sunday, Feb. 12. “She is very self-assured about what she wants,” Blackstone told Rated R&B in a recent interview. “She has so much more clarity and vision now to be the ‘anti’ person she is, no pun intended.”
As Blackstone noted, Rihanna is “always pushing the envelope,” whether with her fashion and beauty brand or her music. His goal for the halftime show is to bring Rihanna’s vision to light. “She’s standing in her superstardom now in a whole different way. She’s wearing that cape proudly,” he said.
While the details surrounding Rihanna’s vision are obviously under wraps, Blackstone leaves fans and viewers with this nugget: “I think we’re going to really impress the world.”
Even though Rihanna hasn’t stepped on stage yet, she has already made history. She will be the first artist to perform under the NFL’s new partnership with Apple Music and Roc Nation.
“Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn,” said JAY-Z, founder of Roc Nation. “A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment.”
The Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show at Super Bowl LVII will be held on Sunday, Feb. 12, in Glendale, Arizona.
Read our full interview with Adam Blackstone here.