WASHINGTON — Is Rihanna finally back?
Apple Music, the official partner for the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show, hinted at Rihanna's musical return on Friday with its latest teaser.
The 30-second clip opens with soundbites about Rihanna's extended hiatus from music as the Barbadian Grammy winner struts down a lit runway. As the voices excessively overlap, the screen goes black and reveals Rihanna in the spotlight.
The singer brings a finger to her lips as if silencing the audience. At this moment, her 2016 single "Needed Me" starts playing in the background as the video pans out with the Super Bowl halftime show logo.
It has been nearly seven years since Rihanna released an album, and fans have been yearning for new music ever since.
Rihanna recently lent her voice to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the single "Lift Me Up" for the "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" soundtrack.
After the NFL announced in late September that Rihanna would headline the February show, hopeful rumors spread of a long-awaited new album, which she has been teasing in recent years. Her last album, "ANTI," was released in 2016.
With sales of more than 250 million records worldwide, Rihanna ranks as one of the best-selling female artists ever.
Rihanna turned down a similar opportunity for the 2019 Super Bowl, ultimately headlined by Maroon 5. At the time, many artists voiced support for Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose 2016 national anthem protests sparked debate throughout football.
The singer is set to take the halftime show stage during Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.