As you already know, Rihanna is set to headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Feb. 12. And she’s likely to perform at the Academy Awards on March 12, assuming “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is nominated for best original song.
“Lift Me Up,” which Rihanna co-wrote with Ludwig Göransson, Ryan Coogler and Tems, was one of 15 songs shortlisted in that category last month. The song’s sheer quality, its success (it reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100), the film’s potency and Rihanna’s star-power all point to a nomination. “All the Stars,” from the initial Black Panther, was nominated for best original song four years ago.
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Even if “Lift Me Up” is nominated, there’s no guarantee that Rihanna will perform it on the telecast. Two years ago, the Academy relegated the best original song nominees to a “pre-show,” a move that was roundly criticized.
And even if Rihanna is invited to perform the song on the telecast, there’s a chance she could decline. Kendrick Lamar and SZA did not perform “All the Stars” on the Oscar telecast four years ago, a move blamed on “logistics and timing.” But that was an outlier. When Oscar calls, even the biggest stars usually say yes. Beyoncé opened last year’s show with a memorable performance of “Be Alive” from King Richard. Such other superstars as Adele, U2, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, Sam Smith, Justin Timberlake, Sting, Elton John, and Billie Eilish with Finneas have performed nominated songs on the Oscars in the past decade. Expect Rihanna to join that list.
Rihanna wouldn’t be the first person to perform on the Oscar telecast and at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in the same calendar year. Phil Collins played both high-profile gigs in 2000, though he wasn’t the headliner of the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Jan. 30, but part of a multi-artist package that also included Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias and Toni Braxton. Collins performed “Two Worlds” from Tarzan at the Disney-produced halftime show.
Two months later, on March 26, Collins performed “You’ll Be in My Heart,” also from Tarzan, at the 72nd Academy Awards. The song (which Collins wrote by himself) went on to win the Oscar.
Nominations round voting for the 2023 Oscars extends from Jan. 12 to 17. Nominations will be announced on Jan. 24. Final round voting extends from March 2-7.