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Jay-Z cheers on Rihanna at Super Bowl 18 years after he 'locked her in office until 3am' to sign her to record deal
2023/05/12

Jay-Z attended Super Bowl LVII where Rihanna performed and announced her second pregnancy. Jay-Z and Rihanna have a long working relationship that began in 2005 when she signed with Def Jam Records while Jay-Z was president. Now 35, Rihanna got her start with Jay-Z as a 17-year-old and has since become an international superstar. 

Rihanna's Super Bowl show came after nearly seven years without new music. She recalled being nervous auditioning for Jay-Z 18 years ago, shaking while waiting and being "locked" in the office until 3 a.m. At the time, Jay-Z was accused of cheating on Beyoncé with the teenaged Rihanna, though her publicist denied the rumor.

Rihanna has said she was "star struck" meeting Jay-Z and had "butterflies," struggling to make eye contact with the hip hop mogul.

During her audition, Rihanna performed her debut single "Pon de Replay" and other songs. Jay-Z was impressed, telling her the only ways out were "out the door after you sign this deal. Or through this window..." on the 29th floor. Rihanna signed with Def Jam but left after five years. She then signed with Jay-Z's own label Roc Nation. 

Cheering her on: Jay-Z was pictured attending Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, where his protégée Rihanna put on a spectacular performance during the halftime show and revealed she was pregnant

They go way back: The rap superstar, 53, and the Umbrella hitmaker, 35, have a relationship that spans back to 2005, when she signed to Def Jam while Jay-Z was the president; Pictured 2005

Despite their shaky start, Jay-Z and Rihanna developed a strong partnership and lasting friendship. While rumors once swirled about their connection, Jay-Z has been a key figure in Rihanna's career from her teen years through today. Though Rihanna has branched out with successful ventures in fashion and beauty, her musical roots trace back to Jay-Z spotting her talent and potential.

His early support and belief in her abilities set the foundation for her to ultimately build her empire.

Attending her Super Bowl performance 18 years after that first meeting illustrates the deep respect between the two artists. For Rihanna, it represented coming full circle at a pivotal moment, with Jay-Z there to witness how far she's come and share in her joy at this career milestone and personal news. Their journey together personifies his vision and her drive to never stop reaching for more, with each mega-star spurring the other on to greater heights.

Pregnant! Rihanna has confirmed she is pregnant with her second child after surprising fans with a baby bump during her highly anticipated comeback at the Super Bowl 57 on Sunday

History: The Barbados-born star previously recalled 'shaking' as she waited to audition for Beyonce's husband 18-years-ago, and being 'locked' in the office until 3am; Pictured 2005

How it began: 'And Jay-Z said, "There's only two ways out. Out the door after you sign this deal. Or through this window ..." And we were on the 29th floor. Very flattering,' she recalled

Shy: She previously discussed the audition, describing how she sang for Jay-Z and recalled being 'very shy' and 'cold the entire time' in an interview with The Guardian; Pictured 2005

Meanwhile in 2005 a rumor began swirling around that Jay-Z - who was then dating his soon-wife to be Beyonce - was having an affair with his musical protégé.

However Jay-Z and Beyonce overcame the cheating rumors, and went on to marry in 2008.

And in 2015 Rihanna's former publicist Jonathan Hay  apologized for making up the rumor.

He was forced to issue a public apology after an explosive book claimed that due to Hay's rumor Beyoncé and Jay Z, who started dating in 2000, had separated for a year. 

The claims were laid bare in Becoming Beyoncé: The Untold Story which is written by celebrity biographer J Randy Taraborelli. 

Hay, who has already apologized to Jay Z, also issued an apology to Beyoncé in a statement on Inside Edition at the time: 'I apologized to her .

.. this whole thing is very awkward,' he told the New York Daily News.

Allegations: The pair also weathered accusations that Jay-Z was cheating on Beyonce with the then 17-year-old Rihanna, though her former publicist admitted he made up the rumor to give her first single a boost

Sticking with Jay: Rihanna signed with Def Jam in 2005 when she was 17 years old, however she left the label 5 years later.

She then proceeded to sign with Jay-Z yet again, after he created his own label Roc Nation

'The pr stunt that I did was out of desperation to help break Pon de Replay,' he said in his statement. 'It was reckless and I didn't think it was going to work. I was just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick.'

On Sunday Rihanna, who gave birth to her first child just nine months ago, sent social media into a frenzy as she took to the stage and rubbed her tummy in front of a global audience of millions at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, where the Philadelphia Eagles are taking on the Kansas City Chiefs.

A representative for star confirmed the baby news shortly after the performance finished.

She shares her first child, who was born on May 13, 2022, with the rapper A$AP Rocky, who was not initially pictured at the Super Bowl. The two have kept their growing family under the radar, and so far neither musician has shared the name of their child.

Rihanna started off the show suspended on a platform high above the field as she belted out her single B**** Better Have My Money. She was dressed in a baggy scarlet jumpsuit that covered up her curves and was strapped loosely on her.

Rihanna stuck to the hits and didn't reveal any new songs during her performance, which featured 12 songs.

 

The Kansas City Chiefs ultimately earned their third NFL championship triumphing over the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35, behind an epic effort put forth by superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes who ultimately earned MVP. 

Sweet: The rap superstar brought his and Beyonce's 11-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter to the Super Bowl on Sunday

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