Rihanna's performance at this year's Super Bowl LVII halftime show presents a unique opportunity for her Black Panther: Wakanda Forever song "Lift Me Up."
The biggest American sporting event of the year has arrived, with Super Bowl LVII seeing the Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the Philadelphia Eagles. But most will be aware that the reach of the Super Bowl goes far beyond the NFL's championship game and crosses heavily into the entertainment space.
On top of the trailers, TV spots, and ads that many tune in for, the legendary halftime show is back, this time with a musical performance from Rihanna. The Barbadian singer's performance comes on the heels of her Oscar nomination for one of her two Black Panther 2 songs, "Lift Me Up."
Having contributed two songs to the MCU release, the second being "Born Again," the pop legend actually revealed it was only when she saw the first trailer for Wakanda Forever, which featured the song "No Woman No Cry," that she was convinced to sign on for her first Marvel Studios collaboration.
Rihanna's 'Life Me Up' Could Make History at Super Bowl
As noted by Billboard, Rihanna's Super Bowl LVII halftime show has a chance to be one for the ages, if she were to play her Oscar-nominated song for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, "Lift Me Up."
With over 115 million people expected to tune into this year's championship game, this would serve as the highest-ever "For Your Consideration" push for an Oscar nomination. On top of those tuning into the Super Bowl, even more, will undoubtedly be watching the halftime show, which is known for being an impressive spectacle.
The highlights of the performance will be watched by many in the days, weeks, months, and years following the game, with last year's performances from Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, and 50 Cent currently holding 162 million views on the official NFL channel.
Of course, exactly which songs Rihanna will play during the halftime show will not become apparent until that point in the game. So, for now, it remains unclear whether she will play recent releases like "Lift Me Up" or if she will stick to old favorites like "Umbrella" and "Don't Stop The Music."
Speaking during Fox's pre-game coverage, Rihanna actually mentioned "Lift Me Up," perhaps indicating it may be among her Super Bowl tracklist. As shared by Betting News, the Black Panther 2 song was listed among the favorites to be played as Rihanna's first song along with many of the Barbadian's classic hits:
- "Don’t Stop the Music" +100
- "What’s My Name?" +600
- "Umbrella" +600
- "This Is What You Came For" +700
- "Lift Me Up" +700
- "Diamonds" +1400
- "We Found Love" +1400
"Lift Me Up" was also one of the contenders to be played as Rihanna's last song of her roughly 15-minute musical performance:
- "Diamonds" -222
- "Umbrella" +300
- "Don’t Stop the Music" +550
- "Lift Me Up" +550
- "Stay" +600
- "We Found Love" +900
- "Love on the Brain" +1400
- "Run This Town" +1400
Will Rihanna Win an Oscar for Black Panther 2?
Rihanna headlining a major event on the scale of the Super Bowl halftime show right in the midst of Marvel Studios' Oscar push for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will undoubtedly be beneficial when it comes to her chances at "Best Original Song."
Of course, at the end of the day, the winners of the Academy Awards are decided by the academy's 10,000 members of industry professionals. But still, such a grand performance of "Lift Me Up" will go a long way to get this song in front of those select voters with, what will hopefully be, an impressive live spectacle.
With regard to Rihanna's actual chances of taking home the "Best Original Song" prize at the March 13 ceremony, she certainly has some stiff competition from the likes of Lady Gaga and more. Although many see the artist as having a strong chance of winning her first Oscar for "Lift Me Up."
All of the nominations for "Best Original Song" at the 2023 Oscars are as follows:
- “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler, and Ludwig Goransson
- “This is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once - Ryan Lott, David Byrne, and Mitski
- “Naatu Naatu” from RRR - M.M. Keeravaani
- “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman - Diane Warren
- “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick - Lady Gaga and BloodPop
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.