Rihanna did indeed turn down the NFL’s invitation to perform at halftime of this year’s Super Bowl in solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people,” she tells the November issue of Vogue. “I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
Kaerpernick hasn’t played for the NFL since the 2016 season after he become the first NFL player to not stand during playing the national anthem, in protest of racial inequality in the U.S.
Rihanna also reveals in the interview why her next album is being inspired by her Caribbean roots. “Reggae always feels right to me. It’s in my blood,” Rihanna declares. “It doesn’t matter how far or long removed I am from that culture, or my environment that I grew up in. It never leaves.”
It’s been nearly four years since the nine-time Grammy winner released her last album, ANTI, in 2016. Since then, she’s been busy growing her Fenty Beauty empire and has become the wealthiest female musician in the world, according to Forbes. But Rihanna’s fans hope her success in fashion and cosmetics won’t end her recording career. She says not to worry.
“Music is, like, speaking in code to the world, where they get it.” says Rihanna. “It’s the weird language that connects me to them. Me the designer, me the woman who creates makeup and lingerie — it all started with music. It was my first pen pal-ship to the world. To cut that off is to cut my communication off.”
In fact, the “Rude Boy” singer confirms that she’s actually developing two albums simultaneously.
“We always went into the music this time around saying that we were going to do two different pieces of art,” she says. “One was gonna be inspired by the music that I grew up listening to. And one was gonna be the evolution of where I’m going next with music.”
The November issue of Vogue, with Rihanna on the cover for the sixth time, hits newsstands October 16.
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