The Super Bowl is just days away, which means we’ll finally see Rihanna onstage for the first time since 2017 when she performs the Super Bowl Halftime Show. And while excitement for her performance is reaching peak levels, there’s even more buzz about what she has planned for after it — namely, whether she’ll be releasing a new album, her first since 2016’s Anti.
Ever since she was confirmed as the halftime show headliner, fans have been wondering whether she’ll release a follow-up to Anti, with rumors that she’ll also announce a stadium tour running rampant on Twitter. Even Rihanna’s musical contemporaries have thrown a few logs on the flame, speculating that she’s been rehearsing brand-new music in the studio.
The response is understandable; after all, Rihanna is one of the few marquee stars in the music world who could sell out a stadium tour anywhere in the world within minutes of tickets going on sale, and it has been six years since fans have had a chance to see her live. Unfortunately, Rih herself seemingly shot down hopes for a new album, telling the Associated Press, “Super Bowl is one thing, new music is another thing.”
That doesn’t mean that she isn’t working on something; she also acknowledged the increased anticipation that would result from her accepting the Super Bowl spot. “The second that I announced this, I said, ‘Oh, my God, they’re going to think my album is coming,” she recalled. “I need to get to work.”
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However, even with our patience stretched to the breaking point, many fans have taken a philosophical outlook about the wait, echoing Jerrod Carmichael’s advice from the Golden Globes: “Rihanna, you take all the time you want on that album, girl. Don’t let these fools on the internet pressure you into nothing!” If it results in the best body of work possible, we’ll wait.