You may have noticed that Rihanna didn’t include “Lift Me Up” in her halftime performance at the Super Bowl on Feb. 12. Turns out she was just saving it for the Oscars. Rihanna will perform the Oscar-nominated ballad from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at the Academy Awards on Sunday, March 12.
Fans will be watching to see if Rihanna’s baby bump has grown in the month between these high-profile gigs. The star’s previously undisclosed pregnancy made her Super Bowl halftime performance one of the most talked-about in years.
Rihanna’s upcoming performance was announced on Thursday (Feb. 23) by Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner, executive producers and showrunners of the 95th Oscars. The producers will continue to announce talent on the show in the coming weeks.
The “Umbrella” singer won’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 sole headliner of the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Jan. 30, but part of a multi-artist package that also featured 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 Academy Awards. The song (which Collins wrote by himself) went on to win the Oscar.
“Lift Me Up” — with music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Göransson and lyrics by Tems and Ryan Coogler — is nominated for best original song. This is Rihanna’s first Oscar nomination.
The other nominees for best original song are “Applause” from Tell It like a Woman (music and lyrics by Diane Warren); “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick (music and lyrics by Lady Gaga and BloodPop); “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (music by M.M. Keeravaani, lyrics by Chandrabose) and “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne and Mitski; lyrics by Ryan Lott and David Byrne).
The announcement of Rihanna’s Oscar performance was expected. 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.
Rihanna attended the Golden Globes ceremony on Jan. 10 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., but that show doesn’t include performances of best original song nominees. “Lift Me Up” lost the award to “Naatu Naatu.” Even so, she attracted much attention, a sign of her star power even amid the high-wattage film and TV stars in attendance.
“All the Stars” from the first Black Panther film was likewise Oscar-nominated for best original song four years ago, but Kendrick Lamar and SZA didn’t perform it on the Oscar telecast, a move blamed on “logistics and timing.”
A nine-time Grammy winner, Rihanna has eight multiplatinum albums, and 14 singles that reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Final round Oscar voting extends from March 2 to 7. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the 95th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 12, at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.