Babyface has been announced as an opener for Super Bowl LVII – and the legendary singer has plans to pay tribute to his late mother with a special partnership for the performance.
The announcement arrived on Tuesday (January 24), and included Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph and country music star Chris Stapleton also being announced as openers. Babyface will sing “America the Beautiful,” while Ralph is set to perform the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and Stapleton will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Talking to TMZ about the performance just after it was announced, Babyface admitted he was shocked that he was asked and won’t be taking the opportunity lightly.
“I can safely say that I never saw this one coming,” he began. “It’s great. It’s an honor to do it. I was honored that I got the call and that everybody was supportive at the NFL and Roc Nation as well.”
“I’ll be completely rattled when this happens,” he continued. “As much as I’m going to try to be comfortable with it, I know I’m going to be nervous because you think about how many people you’re actually performing for and what that moment means, and I won’t take that moment lightly because it is an honor. And no matter what anyone thinks, to have this moment at this point in my life as well, it’s very special so I’m gonna treat it with respect.”
He then spoke about how both his late mother and late brother would be so excited. In his mom’s honor, Babyface has teamed up with a company to make hoodies for the performance that will donate proceeds to an organization for Alzheimer’s patients that she was involved in.
“For these past few years ever since my mom passed away, I’ve always been always kind of pushing myself to go do things that would be either out of my comfort zone or things that I hadn’t done before,” Babyface said. “And so now here I am on the Super Bowl and I could just imagine what she would think at this particular point. And even my brother Marvin who’s not here with us either, he’d be jumping up and down.”
He continued: “Because this is important to me, I ended up teaming up with this company called Shine The Light On. They do t-shirts and hoodies, and so we’re going to do some hoodies together and I’m going to be able to donate some of those proceeds to Keep Memory Alive – which was something that my mom did which deals with Alzheimer’s patients. It’s a full thing that makes it all make sense. It was supposed to happen.”
Rihanna will also be performing at this year’s Super Bowl, holding down the Halftime show when the big game goes down in Glendale, Arizona on February 12. In a recent interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, A$AP Rocky spoke about how excited he is for his superstar girlfriend’s upcoming performance and how big of a spectacle it’s going to be.
“Oh man, I’m just as excited as you guys — if not more,” Rocky said while laughing. “I’m super excited. This is huge, this is incredible. I’m so glad that my lady is back making music again and what not, and getting back out there, you know?”
He continued: “It’s incredible, especially for both of us. It’s a good year for both of us to be more active and be out there. But the Super Bowl is huge. The creative that she is, she’s going to bring it, man.”
The Halftime show will mark Rihanna’s first appearance at the Super Bowl and her first major performance since the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.[VIA]