Why Wasn't Rihanna Paid For Her Super Bowl Performance?

Football fans may have been busy watching the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles face off at the 2023 Super Bowl, but as for the rest of us, all eyes were on Rihanna. In fact, a record-breaking number of viewers tuned in to the singer's 2023 halftime show, according to Billboard: 121.017 million people watched the live show, surpassing the previous record of 121 million set by Katy Perry in 2015.

The Barbadian megastar dominated the stage, levitating on a platform over the field and performing several hits from her 18-year-long (and counting) music career, including "Only Girl (In the World)" and "Run This Town." But the moment that really stole the show was when Rihanna, in a red body-concealing suit, hinted at her second pregnancy when she revealed a surprise baby bump to the crowd.

Despite giving one of the most buzzworthy Super Bowl performances to date, the "B**** Better Have My Money" singer didn't get any money for the show. Here's why Rihanna didn't receive a paycheck for her time on stage.

The NFL doesn't pay its halftime performers

Rihanna may have only spent 13 minutes on stage during the Super Bowl halftime, but years of preparation led up to the show. For one, it was the singer's first musical performance in seven years, as she discussed on "The Process with Nate Burleson." "To come back from zero to the Super Bowl, that's kind of nuts," she remarked in the interview, adding that she studied Beyoncé's previous Super Bowl performance for inspiration.

The Super Bowl halftime show is also super expensive to put on. A source revealed to Reuters that $1 million per minute is the typical budget for performances like Rihanna's, though this figure hasn't been confirmed by the NFL or its sponsors. However, none of that money went to the star of the show herself — and Rihanna isn't the only one performing for free. "We do not pay the artists," NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter explained to Forbes in 2016. "We cover expenses and production costs."

In other words, Rihanna didn't get snubbed — headlining the Super Bowl halftime show is simply a rite of passage for music's biggest names, and many accept the honor without expecting a paycheck.

Rihanna came out on top, even without a paycheck

Even if Rihanna didn't directly boost her estimated $1.4 billion net worth by performing at the 2023 Super Bowl, her appearance benefited her in other ways. Perhaps most obviously, the mini concert was a smart PR move for the Barbados native. Rihanna made a major splash online, trending across social media platforms and making news headlines. Twitter Trending Archive even reveals that Rihanna was the most-tweeted topic worldwide on Super Bowl Sunday and the day after.

Unsurprisingly, many of the singer's hits also had a moment after fans heard them during the Super Bowl. Billboard reported that digital streams of Rihanna's music soared following the performance, and a whopping 16 of her songs landed on the Billboard Global 200 list as a result.

Rihanna's passion outside of music, her beauty product line Fenty Beauty, was also thrust into the spotlight during the gig. She boldly incorporated a makeup touch-up moment mid-performance, using the Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Instant Setting + Blotting Powder while millions watched (via WWD). Beauty lovers took notice, leading Fenty Beauty to garner $11.3 million in the Launchmetrics' Media Impact Value metric (a calculation that measures the impact created by marketing and media placements) in the week following the Super Bowl.