You can count Chris Martin among the millions of fans who can’t wait to watch Rihanna perform this weekend at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. In a new interview with Apple Music 1, the Coldplay frontman sang the pop star’s praises while reflecting on his own memories of performing on one of the world’s biggest stages with Beyoncé and Bruno Mars.
“I don’t know Rihanna very well,” Martin told host Zane Lowe on Friday (Feb. 10). “I’m mainly just a fan, and we have performed with her a few times, and you’re right, it is rarer and rarer for her to just sing, which is what makes it even more special, and in a strange way, it shows that she really, really wants to do it. No one can make Rihanna do anything at this point.”
“You have to be an idiot not to recognize that she’s the best singer of all time,” he continued. “I’m very biased because I’m such a big Rihanna fan. I mean, I think she could just walk out in sweatpants and sing, and that would be just great.”
The “Love on the Brain” singer has just two days left before she headlines the Apple Music-sponsored event between the game’s second and third quarters. This year, the Super Bowl will see the Kansas City Chiefs facing off with the Philadelphia Eagles at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 12) at Glendale’s State Farm Stadium in Arizona.
In 2016, it was Coldplay who headlined. Wanting to do justice to the NFL’s 50th anniversary Super Bowl, the band brought out a pair of superstar guests — Bey and Bruno — to assist them.
“I felt really straight away, well, we have to ask Beyoncé because we had a song together at the time, but it hadn’t come out yet,” Martin recalled. “And then Beyoncé, we spoke on the phone and she said, ‘Should we do our song together?’ And I thought, ‘I don’t know. No one knows it yet, and maybe just do something that you want to do.’ And then she came up with ‘Formation,’ which was the best.”
Not everyone loved the final product of Coldplay’s efforts, however. The band was met with criticism from certain viewers, something Martin also opened up about with Lowe. “We got quite a hard time afterwards from some people who didn’t really like it, which was hard to take at the time,” he confessed. “But then at a certain point I realized, ‘Well, we did exactly what we wanted to do given all those limitations.’ We would do exactly the same way, I think. We would ask the same guests.”
“I don’t mind the fact that I’m going to be in a dance-off with Beyoncé and Bruno and lose, that’s the point,” he added. “Someone has to represent the non-dancing humans. So I think I sort of became really at peace with it a few weeks afterwards.”