Chris Martin Says He's Excited for Rihanna's Halftime Performance: 'Best Singer of All Time'

"I think she could just walk out in sweatpants and sing, and that would be just great," the Coldplay frontman told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1

chris martin On Why He's Excited For Rihanna's Super Bowl Halftime Performance
Chris Martin of Coldplay; Rihanna. Photo: getty (2)

Chris Martin is looking forward to Rihanna's Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show performance!

The Coldplay frontman, 45, caught up with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 on Friday about his excitement for the show, as a former halftime performer himself.

"I don't know Rihanna very well. 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," he said.

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Chris Martin of Coldplay performs at the 2016 Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show. Ezra Shaw/Getty

"No one can make Rihanna do anything at this point, and so I think the fact that she has chosen to do it now, when her stock couldn't be — you have to be an idiot not to recognize that she's the best singer of all time," Martin continued. "So it's hard for me, 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."

Martin, who performed at halftime back in 2016 alongside Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, will be keeping an eye on Rihanna's big comeback performance along with the rest of the world on Sunday. The star announced she was headlining the halftime show back in September, and the excitement has only grown since she held a press conference this week.

As Martin explained, performing at the Super Bowl produces "masses of adrenaline," but despite that he's "never watched it back."

"I have a very strange sensation about the Super Bowl performance because given the limitations, we had certain limitations. It was daytime, you have to do certain sponsor stuff, on and on. The stage has to be a certain color because it's this anniversary, so there was a lot of things that we had to navigate around, and we got quite a hard time afterwards from some people who didn't really like it, which was hard to take at the time," Martin said. "But then at a certain point I realized, 'Well, we did exactly what we wanted to do given all those limitations.' We would do [it] 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, but the initial 12 days was really weird. In retrospect, we really loved doing it, and in a way for us like a coming out ceremony of, 'This is who we really are into all the end,' being yourself. All the quite hippie messaging, which we'd always kept it a bit more subtle, and then I think at the Super Bowl, we just were like, 'Let's just go for it and really reveal our true identity.'"

Rihanna appears at the Super Bowl halftime press conference. Mike Coppola/Getty

Martin added that playing the Super Bowl is the "most wonderful Trojan horse" — meaning it's "in the middle of this quite masculine, gigantic beer drinking thing, you put all these artists and exposed them to a lot of people who would never be interested in Prince or in us, or in Katy Perry or whoever." That, in part, is why "the right set list is key," Martin said.

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It's still unclear exactly what Riri hopes to bring in terms of her setlist on Sunday when she performs in Glendale, Arizona for her first live performance since the 2018 Grammy Awards. But she did admit that choosing which songs to sing "was the biggest challenge," as she's gone through "probably about 39 versions of the setlist."

"That was the hardest, hardest part — deciding how to maximize 13 minutes but also celebrate. That's what this show is gonna be — it's gonna be a celebration of my catalog in the best way that we could've put it together," Rihanna said. "You're trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes, so it's difficult. Some songs we have to lose because of that, and that's gonna be okay, but I think we did a pretty good job of narrowing it down."

The Super Bowl, featuring the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, will kick off on the evening of Feb. 12.

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