Rihanna’s Super Bowl Half Time show is just under two weeks away, and the countdown has begun with Adam Blackstone returning as the show’s musical director.
Blackstone returns following his first Emmy award win for Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show, starred by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent. The show took home three awards, including Variety Special (live), Outstanding Music Direction, and Outstanding Production Design For A Variety Special.
Blackstone was previously nominated for Outstanding Music Direction for his production of the Justin Timberlake (2018) and Jennifer Lopez/Shakira (2020) Halftime shows.
In an ABC interview, Blackstone gave some insight into his discussions with Rihanna and how she wants the show to run off.
“I asked the artist what story do you want to tell?” he said as he shared the response from Rihanna.
“The story that she wants to tell is just ‘let’s be epic, let’s let this be a moment in time that people will never have had seen or heard before,” the musician said.
Blackstone also spoke about the preparation of the show, which will require a lot of rehearsing to ensure that the production is within the timeframe. The show is expected to last around 13 minutes.
“We’re forcing a concert in the middle of the biggest sporting event in the world… A lot of the preparation honestly comes before so when we hit the stage it’s like another day,” he said.
As for deciding what possible collaborations Rihanna will include, Blackstone said it’s not as easy as some fans speculate, as the Grammy-winning artist has a large catalog of number-one songs.
“It’s a gift and a curse because you have so many hits, almost like where do we start?” he said. “She’s had some great collabs, I cannot say I think that you’ll be in for a surprise,” he added when asked about who might grace the stage with her.
Blackstone is being supported by British director Hamish Hamilton who has been working with the Super Bowl Half Time show production since 2010, director Jesse Collins and Roc Nation under the direction of Jay-Z, who is named the NFL’s Live Music Entertainment Strategist.