Stephen A. Smith Regrets Rihanna Saying ‘Not Beyoncé’

Stephen A. Smith Regrets Rihanna Saying ‘Not Beyoncé’

ESPN host Stephen A. Smith issued an apology to Rihanna after he recently said that “the nine-time Grammy-winning music and beauty icon is not Beyoncé.”

Smith said in video apology posted on Twitter on Wednesday that he was going to “own” his comments about Rihanna’s upcoming Super Bowl halftime show – although he appeared to blame the media for the way his views were reported.

“I know what you’re trying to do, but I’ll own it because I’m paid to speak for a living so I need to be more careful,” he said. “I want Rihanna to know, you’re a superstar, you’re amazing, you’re amazing, you’re no joke, and you deserve to be doing the Super Bowl halftime show.”

Smith then said that he is a fan of Beyoncé, whom he called “a great performer,” and that he only compared the two superstars because Beyoncé performed the halftime show twice.

“I thought those were two of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen,” he said. “So what I’m saying is, anybody has to measure up to that.”

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Smith made the statement during an appearance on Sherri Shepherd’s “Sherri” daytime talk show on Wednesday.

When Shepherd asked Smith if he was excited to see Rihanna take the stage at the big game, the sports commentator replied: “I don’t want to say I’m not excited, she’s great. That’s not where I’m going with this.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, she’s got a lot going on, she’s really amazing – and congratulations on the new mummy hood,” he continued. “There’s one thing she’s not: she’s not Beyoncé.”

He later said that he loves Rihanna “very much” but that, “there’s Beyoncé and there’s everyone else.”

Smith’s snide comment drew applause from the studio audience, and apparently later sparked a firestorm from Rihanna’s fans on social media.

In 2013, Beyoncé headlined a spectacular Super Bowl halftime performance, which included appearances from her former Destiny’s Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.

Queen Bey stunned fans in 2016 when she performed her then-new single, “Formation,” during Coldplay’s halftime show, which also featured Bruno Mars.

Rihanna’s fans have expressed their excitement to see the singer’s halftime show since she first announced her participation in the event in September. Her last major live performance was at the 2018 Grammys, according to Billboard.

Rihanna’s boyfriend, rapper A$AP Rocky, confirmed that recently he very excited about Rihanna’s performance at the Super Bowl on February 12th.

The rapper, who welcomed a boy with the singer in May 2022, told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 that he is “excited” about the show.

“This is huge. This is incredible. I’m glad my wife is back doing music again and again, and going back there,” he said.

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