With less than two weeks until Rihanna’s Super Bowl Half Time, the countdown has begun with Adam Blackstone returning as the show’s musical director.
Blackstone returns after winning his first Emmy for his Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent. The show won 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 producing the Justin Timberlake (2018) and Jennifer Lopez/Shakira Halftime Show (2020).
In an interview with ABC, Blackstone offered some insight into his discussions with Rihanna and how she wants the show to end.
“I asked the artist what story do you want to tell?” he said while sharing Rihanna’s response.
“The story she wanted to tell was just ‘let’s make it epic, let’s make this a moment that people haven’t seen or heard before,” said the musician.
Blackstone also spoke about the preparations for the show, which will require extensive rehearsals to ensure the production stays within the time frame. The show is expected to last approximately 13 minutes.
“We’re going to be doing a concert at the biggest sporting event in the world… Honestly, a lot of the prep work has been done before, so when we get on stage, it’s like another day,” he said .
As for deciding which possible collaborations Rihanna will include, Blackstone said it won’t be as easy as some fans have speculated, given the Grammy-winning artist’s vast number of No. 1 hits.
“It’s a gift and it’s a curse because you hit so much, like where do we start?” he said. “She’s had some great collaborations, and I can’t say I think you’ll be surprised,” he added when asked who might join her on stage.
Blackstone is backed by British director Hamish Hamilton, who has been working with the Super Bowl halftime show production since 2010, director Jesse Collins and Roc Nation under the direction of Jay-Z, who was named the NFL’s live music entertainment strategy division.