Stephen A. Smith Talks Halftime Show: Rihanna "Ain't Beyoncé"

He praised Ri for her talents, but he doesn't believe she can outmatch Bey's epic Super Bowl halftime performance.

BYErika Marie
Dallas Mavericks v Philadelphia 76ers

The Navy is fired up this morning after hearing what Stephen A. Smith had to say about Rihanna. We're less than one month away from Super Bowl LVII, which will also host a performance by the icon. People have speculated what the Fenty billionaire will bring to the stage, and Smith weighed in during a recent interview. His comments quickly spread like wildfire.

While on Sherri, Smith was asked if he was excited about the halftime show. "I don't want to say I'm not excited," said Smith. "She's fantastic. That's not where I'm going with this."

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"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.

"The only reason I brought up Beyoncé is because Beyoncé recently performed at the Super Bowl," he replied. "And without Bruno Mars and Coldplay."

SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 09: In this image released on November 9, Rihanna attends Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 presented by Prime Video at Allied Studios on November 08, 2022 in Simi Valley, California; and broadcast on November 9, 2022. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4 presented by Prime Video)
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As the audience's reaction almost overpowered the conversation, Shepherd also said this was Rihanna's time, not Bey's.

"Rihanna's coming back, she's got that extra oomph of motherhood. I like Rihanna!" said the talk show host.

Smith was unmoved. "I like television, I like a lotta talent out there. There's some spectacular females in television, I just wanna say that. Everybody ain't Sherri. That's not throwing shade on them! That's appreciating their greatness but understanding there's levels."

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03: Singer Beyonce performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
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"Rihanna's music is fantastic. 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! I'm just telling you, for me, there's Beyoncé, there's everybody else."

He also mentioned Michael Jackson's status, suggesting everyone else falls under the late icon.

This hot take certainly set off social media, so check out the clip above and a few reactions below.

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About The Author
Erika Marie is a seasoned journalist, editor, and ghostwriter who works predominantly in the fields of music, spirituality, mental health advocacy, and social activism. The Los Angeles editor, storyteller, and activist has been involved in the behind-the-scenes workings of the entertainment industry for nearly two decades. E.M. attempts to write stories that are compelling while remaining informative and respectful. She's an advocate of lyrical witticism & the power of the pen. Favorites: Motown, New Jack Swing, '90s R&B, Hip Hop, Indie Rock, & Punk; Funk, Soul, Harlem Renaissance Jazz greats, and artists who innovate, not simply replicate.