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Stephen A. Smith Weighs In On Rihanna’s Upcoming Super Bowl Halftime Performance: ‘She Ain’t Beyoncé’


Stephen A. Smith, Beyonce, Rihanna

Stephen A. Smith Weighs In On Rihanna’s Upcoming Super Bowl Halftime Performance: ‘She Ain’t Beyoncé’

It’s safe to say that Stephen A. Smith isn’t excited about Rihanna’s upcoming Super Bowl Halftime performance. 

During a recent appearance on the daytime talk show “Sherri,” ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith, 55, seemingly threw shade at Rihanna, 34, as he admitted he isn’t as excited as everyone else to see the “Needed Me” singer take the stage next month as she headlines Super Bowl LVII. Stephen A. Smith admitted,

“I don’t wanna say I’m not excited, [Rihanna is] fantastic. That’s not where I’m going with this.”

He elaborated:

“Ladies and gentlemen, she’s a lot of things. She’s spectacular actually, and congratulations on new momma hood.”

He then quickly added:

“There’s one thing she’s not. She ain’t Beyoncé.”


Attempting to calm down the audience’s reaction to his remarks, he explained:

“Hold on, the only reason I bought up Beyoncé is because Beyoncé recently performed at the Super Bowl. With and without Bruno Mars and Coldplay.”

Smith then said:

“You know what? I like television. I like a lot of talent out there. There’s some spectacular females in television, I just wanna say that, everybody ain’t Sherri. That’s not throwing shade on them, that’s appreciating their greatness but understanding — there’s levels. You know?”

He added:

“Rihanna’s music is fantastic. She’s great. She’s a sister. I love her dearly. I listen to her music. I’m gonna support her until the cows come home. I’m just telling you for me, there’s Beyoncé and there’s everybody else. Just like Michael Jackson and it’s everybody else.”


As you may recall, Grammy-Award winner Beyoncé left the world stunned in 2013 with her 13-minute Super Bowl Halftime Performance. During the show, she was accompanied by her former R&B group members of Destiny’s Child. Her upstanding choreography matched her hit singles such as “Crazy In Love,” “Baby Boy,” “Single Ladies,” “Halo,” and more! The 41-year-old vocalist also took the stage in 2016 alongside Coldplay and Bruno Mars.

As previously reported, Rihanna will be headlining the Superbowl’s Halftime performance on February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The “Diamonds” singer previously revealed that she was initially indecisive about taking the gig, but her beau A$AP Rocky influenced her to accept the offer. The Bajan native shared:

“It definitely was not a ‘yeah.’ It was like, ‘alright, let me think about it.’ I delayed and delayed and delayed it and it was probably one of the latest announcements they’ve had. But I really started to think about it and truly consider it when I was going through my music and I realized I got some sh*t. I can celebrate this.”

The 34-year-old admitted:

“He was one of my biggest supporters in making the decision to do the Super Bowl. He was like, ‘You got this, you can do this.’”

What are your thoughts on Stephen A. Smith’s reaction to Rihanna performing at the 2023 Super Bowl? Tell us below! 


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