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Stephen A. Smith, the well-known sports commentator, and analyst caused a stir on social media when he shared his opinion on Rihanna‘s upcoming halftime performance at the Super Bowl. During his appearance on “The Sherri Show“, Smith stated that he believes Rihanna, while a talented performer, is not on the same level as Beyoncé.
Smith’s comment was met with swift backlash from fans and supporters of Rihanna, who felt that his statement was disrespectful and dismissive of the singer’s accomplishments. Many took to social media to express their disappointment and frustration with Smith’s comment.
When asked about his excitement for the halftime show, Smith stated, “I don’t want to say I’m not excited, she’s fantastic. Ladies and gentlemen, she’s a lot of things – spectacular, and congratulations on new mamahood. But there’s one thing, she ain’t Beyoncé.”
In response to the backlash, Smith took to Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday (January 18) to apologize for his initial comment. In his apology, he stated that he meant no disrespect to Rihanna and that he was simply answering a question from the show’s host, Sherri Shepherd. He also clarified that he was a fan of both Rihanna and Beyoncé and that his comment was not meant to suggest that Rihanna was not worthy of performing at the Super Bowl halftime show.
In his video, Smith stated, “Now, I’m a Beyoncé fan. I think that Beyoncé is not only a phenomenal performer, ‘the’ phenomenal performer. And the only reason any kind of comparison came into play is that Beyoncé performed at halftime at the Super Bowl not just by herself but one separate Super Bowl performance with Bruno Mars and Coldplay. And I thought those were two of the greatest shows that I’ve ever seen.”
“So, what I’m saying is, anybody has to measure up to that. Last year with Snoop and Dre and Mary J. and Eminem, I was like, ‘Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Coldplay. Big time. They got to measure up to that.’ Anybody who does a Super Bowl halftime show, forever I’m gonna say, ‘Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Coldplay. And then Beyoncé by themselves.’ Michael Jackson could still be alive and I would say it’s gotta measure up to that.”
Smith clarified that he meant no disrespect to Rihanna and that he was a fan of both Rihanna and Beyoncé. He stated, “I just think that Beyoncé is the greatest performer out there today. That’s me! That doesn’t mean I’m hating on anybody else. That doesn’t mean I’m damn sure wishing for Rihanna to fail. I don’t believe she’s gonna fail. She’s gonna be great! I’m just saying that I’m a Beyoncé fan. That’s all. That’s it.”
Despite Smith’s apology, the incident has sparked a broader conversation about the way that female performers are often compared and judged against one another. Many have pointed out that Smith’s comment is part of a larger pattern of women in the entertainment industry being pitted against each other, rather than being celebrated for their individual talents and achievements.
On his Twitter account, Smith tweeted: “Has been removed. My social management team will never make a mistake like this again. My apologies again to Rihana. And just to be clear, I’m a huge fan. Sherri and I were just having fun. That is all.”
Rihanna herself has yet to comment on the incident, but her fans have taken to social media to express their support for her. The Barbadian singer is considered one of the most successful and influential artists of her generation, with a career that spans over a decade and includes numerous hit songs, award wins, and collaborations with other big names in the industry.
The Super Bowl halftime show is one of the most-watched events on television each year, and the selection of the performer is always a topic of discussion and debate. Many fans have different opinions on who should perform, and there’s always a debate on who should be the one to entertain the crowd. But the fact is that the halftime show is one of the most prominent stages in the world and it’s a big opportunity for any artist to showcase their talents.
Rihanna has been on a hiatus for a while now and she’s now a mother, and it’s normal for people to wonder why she was chosen to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. However, Rihanna has a great history of performing and she’s known as one of the best performers in the industry. It’s not the first time that an artist who has been away for a while has been chosen to perform at the halftime show, and it’s not a surprise that Rihanna was selected.
The truth is that the Super Bowl halftime show is always been a debate because it’s about personal taste. Every year there will be people complaining about who is going to perform during the Super Bowl, and they are entitled to share their thoughts, something you don’t have to agree with.
In the end, it’s important to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. While some may disagree with Stephen A. Smith’s comment on Rihanna’s performance, it’s important to respect his right to express his viewpoint. The incident should serve as a reminder that while it’s important to engage in critical discussions and debates, it’s also crucial to respect the opinions of others.
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Written by: Silvia Tine
Beyoncé Rihanna Stephen A. Smith
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