Stephen A. Smith Issues Apology to Rihanna for Beyonce Comparisons

Shutterstock (3)

Stephen A. Smith clarified his response to Rihanna‘s upcoming Tremendous Bowl halftime gig — and addressed these Beyoncé comparisons.

The sports activities journalist, 55, initially confronted backlash after he weighed in on Rihanna’s deliberate efficiency.

“I don’t need to say I’m not excited. She’s unbelievable. That’s not the place I’m going with this. She’s quite a lot of issues. She’s spectacular,” the New York native stated throughout an look on Sherri, which aired on Wednesday, January 18. “There’s one factor she’s not. She ain’t Beyoncé. The one purpose I introduced up Beyoncé is as a result of Beyoncé lately carried out on the Tremendous Bowl. And with out Bruno Mars and Coldplay.”

Smith later praised the “Umbrella” singer, 34, on the speak present for her “unbelievable” music, including, “I’m simply telling you for me, there’s Beyoncé and there’s all people else.”

Shortly after clips from the interview went viral, Smith took to social media to problem an apology.

“I’m gonna personal it. I do know what y’all attempting to do. However I’m going to personal it as a result of I receives a commission to talk for a residing, so I should be extra cautious,” he stated in an Instagram video on Wednesday. “I would like Rihanna to know: You’re a famous person, you’re sensational, you’re spectacular. You’re no joke. And you’re a worthy particular person to be doing the Tremendous Bowl halftime present.”

The TV persona claimed that the problem to his response got here from Sherri Shepherd‘s viewers being largely feminine.

“Now I’m a Beyoncé fan. I believe that Beyoncé just isn’t solely an exceptional performer, however the phenomenal performer,” he continued. “And the one purpose any form of comparability got here into play is as a result of Beyoncé carried out at halftime on the Tremendous Bowl not simply by herself, however one separate Tremendous Bowl efficiency with Bruno Mars and Coldplay. And I assumed that these had been two of the best exhibits that I’ve ever seen.”

Smith famous that “anyone has to measure up” to the Texas native, 41. “Anyone who does a Tremendous Bowl halftime present, endlessly I’m gonna say, ‘Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, and Beyoncé by themselves,’” he concluded. “Michael Jackson may nonetheless be alive and I might say, ‘It’s gotta measure as much as that.’”

The radio host additionally walked again his feedback by referring to it as a “horrific mistake,” tweeting, “One thing that was alleged to be a enjoyable second on the Sherri Shepard present has gotten out of hand. An overzealous member on my MGMT workforce — which has entry to my account — posted one thing I might NEVER say about @rihanna, her followers or another artist.”

Smith added: “The submit has been eliminated. My social administration workforce won’t ever make a mistake like this once more. My apologies once more to @Rihanna. And simply to be clear, I’m an enormous fan. Sherri and I had been simply having enjoyable. That’s all.”

Following a hiatus from performing dwell and 6 years since her final album, Rihanna will likely be making a comeback through the sporting occasion on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The occasion comes almost a 12 months for the reason that Fenty Magnificence founder gave start to her first baby, a child boy, with boyfriend A$AP Rocky.

The rapper, 34, lately gushed about his girlfriend’s upcoming gig. “I’m so glad that my woman’s again making music once more and whatnot, and getting again on the market,” he instructed Zane Lowe on Wednesday. “It’s simply unimaginable. The Tremendous Bowl is big, and her being the inventive she is, she going to deliver it, man. I’m excited. I’m extra excited than all people else, actually.”

Rihanna, for her half, defined how motherhood impressed her to say sure to the chance.

“I really feel prefer it was now or by no means, actually,” she instructed Further in November 2022. “There’s this bizarre s—t that occurs if you change into a mother — that you just simply unleash or unlock different components of your superpower. I needed to tackle the problem and I needed to do one thing that will power me to get again onstage.”