It turns out Jay-Z was on the shortlist for possible Super Bowl halftime show headliners a few years ago — until a key request unraveled the potential plans.
During an interview with The New York Times, the music mogul revealed he rejected involvement in the performance after the NFL requested he brought out Kanye West and Rihanna as well.
“Of course I would have,” Jay-Z candidly stated, “but I said, ‘No, you get me.’ That is not how you go about it, telling someone that they’re going to do the halftime show contingent on who they bring. I said forget it. It was a principle thing.”
The league reportedly approached the rapper and expressed a desire for the legendary trio to perform their hit collaboration “Run This Town,” according to the Times’ Katherine Rosman. The single appeared on Jay-Z’s 2009 album, The Blueprint 3.
Jay signed a deal with the NFL last year, allowing the Brooklyn artist’s entertainment and sports company, Roc Nation, the opportunity to consult the league on live events, including the Super Bowl halftime show.
“The NFL has a great big platform, and it has to be all-inclusive,” he told the Times in 2019 after inking the deal.
Last year, Rihanna stated she declined an offer to perform on the Super Bowl halftime show to demonstrate support for Colin Kaepernick in the wake of his battle against the NFL over kneeling for social justice.
“For what? Who gains from that? Not my people,” Rihanna told Vogue. “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.”