“I’m gonna own it,” Stephen A. Smith said. “I know what y’all trying to do, but I’m gonna own it because I get paid to speak for a living, so I need to be more careful.
Stephen A. Smith Apologizes to Rihanna over his Superbowl remarks ‘She Ain't Beyoncé’
Stephen A. Smith apologizes to Rihanna for Beyoncé comparison: ‘You’re a Superstar’
UPDATED 1/18 3:29 p.m. ET: ESPN's Stephen A. Smith apologized Wednesday for a comment he made regarding the singer, who' will perform at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show. In the vide, he described her as a "superstar" and "a worthy person to be doing the Super Bowl halftime show."
Smith explained his side of the story. He said that he is merely a huge fan of Beyonce and her performances in the Super Bowl, and that in his mind, every other artist will need to live up to the bar that Beyonce set. Stephen A made it abundantly clear that he meant no slight for Rihanna.
“I meant it as no disrespect to Rihanna,” Smith continued. “I know she’s phenomenal, and she’s my sister. Nothing but love for her. But Beyonce is my sister, too. I got love for both of them. I just think that Beyonce is the greatest performer out there today. That’s me. That doesn’t mean that I’m hating on anybody else. 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.”
Smith ended his three-minute monologue by issuing a sincere apology to Rihanna:
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Stephen A. Smith is giving his take on Rihanna performing at the 2023 Superbowl Halftime show.
ESPN’s First Take co-host made an appearance on “The Sherri Show” that aired on Wednesday, Jan. 18, on FOX.
When asked by Sherri Shepherd if he was excited for Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime show he chose his words wisely. The book Arthur and First Take’s very own started by saying “I don’t want to say I’m not excited.”
“Rihanna’s music is fantastic,” he told Sherri. “She’s great. She’s a sister. I love her dearly, I listen to her music, I’m gonna support her ’til the cows come home.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, she’s a lot of things,” Smith continued as he referenced Rihanna. “She’s spectacular, actually. And congratulations on new mamahood.” The audience was co-signing the compliments before Smith shook things up.
“There’s one thing she’s not: she ain’t Beyoncé,” the commentator added to an audibly shocked crowd. Sherri Shepherd jumped in to praise Rihanna’s talents.
Stephen A. Smith added. “The only reason I brought up Beyoncé is because Beyoncé recently performed at the Super Bowl,” he replied. “And without Bruno Mars and Coldplay.”
See more from Smith below. Deeper into the video, he points out the impossibility of Rihanna being “bad” in her performance due to her being “too great not to be good.”