Rihanna throws dagger at NFL in Halftime show at Super Bowl LVII

For weeks, NFL and music fans were left wondering: will she do it? Won’t she? In the end, Rihanna did.

Rihanna left a performance for the ages at Super Bowl LVII. The Barbados singer showed she didn’t need guest features to make her show memorable, and sang an endless catalog of hits. However, it seems like a nearly impossible coincidence that she decided to open with her 2015 hit song Bitch Better Have My Money.

Rihanna’s not-so-subtle shade thrown at the NFL

It is well known that the NFL doesn’t pay its Super Bowl Halftime performers. For instance, J-Lo and Shakira’s half-time show in 2020 cost $13 million, including the audio, technical, staging crew and equipment. Despite the Halftime show being one of the biggest stages on Earth, and perfect for Rihanna to stage her musical comeback, the fact performers don’t get paid has been a source of controversy.

It is fitting that Rihanna has a hit song that is perfect for the occasion: Bitch Better Have My Money. Upon appearing on an impressive floating platform and being elevated into the sky, Rihanna belted: “Bitch better have my money Y’all should know me well enough. Bitch better have my money. Please don’t call me on my bluff. Pay me what you owe me.”

Please don’t call me on my bluff. Pay me what you owe me

The lyrics of the song themselves were the most porwerful message possible to the NFL. According to Newsweek, NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy said that the league doesn’t pay halftime performers an “appearance fee, but the artists are indeed paid union scale.”