Super Bowl Halftime Show: Why Rihanna Was Chosen Over Taylor Swift

Speculation abounded about Taylor Swift earlier this week, after Variety reported three sources allegedly close to the singer confirmed she would be performing at the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show. Apple Music would go on to announce Sunday that Rihanna will headline next year's Super Bowl halftime show, with no word as to what happened with Swift.

TMZ reported that "sources with direct knowledge of the Super Bowl halftime show" informed them officials approached Swift months ago about headlining the halftime show. The outlet claimed that the pop star refused to perform until she completed rerecording all her first six albums.

Big Machine Records originally owned Swift's masters, and when Scooter Braun bought the company for $300 million in 2019, he effectively acquired her entire catalog of masters of her previous six records."For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work," Swift wrote in a 2019 Tumblr post. "Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and 'earn' one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past."

As Swift said, she called the Braun purchase her "worst case scenario," and blamed the fact that she wasn't given rights to her work on being taken advantage of because she was young. "This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term 'loyalty' is clearly just a contractual concept," Swift wrote. And when that man says 'Music has value,' he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it." 

Swift has already rerecorded and released "Red" as well as "Fearless" to regain ownership of the master recordings. Braun sold the master recordings in 2020 to an unknown investment fund.TMZ also wrote that while the global star is interested in headlining a Super Bowl halftime show, it's "an issue of timing." Currently, everything depends on the rerecording process.

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 On Sunday, Rihanna, 34, shared an image on Instagram Sunday affirming her appearance at the next year's NFL event. The "Umbrella" singer captioned the photo with a single period, and her hand appears to hold a football. Roc Nation later posted the image on its Instagram account, writing, "Let's GO," and tagging Rihanna and the NFL with the hashtag "#SBLVII."