ESPN commentator Stephen A Smith has issued an apology to Rihanna following his appearance on the Sherri talk show. He made a comment hinting that the singer’s upcoming Super Bowl halftime performance would not measure up to that of Beyoncé’s. Now, the television personality has clarified his feelings about the Fenty Beauty founder.
Stephen A Smith took to his Twitter account and told his 5.8 million followers that he should have been “more careful” when it came to his public statements. Speaking about what seemed to be a diss at Rihanna, Smith said:
“I want Rihanna to know, you’re a superstar. Just sensational, you’re spectacular. You’re no joke. And you’re a worthy person to be doing the Super Bowl halftime show.”
Stephen A Smith went on to clarify the statement he made on the Sherri show by saying:
“Now, I’m a Beyoncé fan. I think that Beyoncé is not only a phenomenal performer but THE phenomenal performer. And the only reason any kind of comparison came into play is because Beyoncé performed at the halftime at the Super Bowl not just by herself but on a separate performance with Bruno Mars and Coldplay. And I thought those two were the greatest shows that I have ever seen! So what I’m saying is anybody has to measure up to that.”
The 55-year-old went on to say that he would compare any singer’s performance to that of Beyoncé’s and that it would be something other singers would have to live up to. Stephen A Smith added:
“I meant it as no disrespect to Rihanna. I know she is phenomenal. And she is my sister. Nothing but love for her. But Beyoncé is my sister too. I got love for both of them. I just think Beyoncé is the greatest performer out there today. That’s me. That doesn’t mean I’m hating on anybody else.”
Stephen A Smith ended his apology by expressing that he believes Rihanna’s upcoming performance will be “great” and that he would not “wish her to fail.”
In a separate tweet, Smith stated that the comment that was made on the show was simply a “fun moment” that had “gotten out of hand.”
What did Stephen A Smith say on the Sherri show?
On Wednesday, the commentator appeared on a talk show alongside Sherri Shepherd where he was asked whether he was excited to see Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime performance, which is happening on February 12. Smith went on to say:
“I don’t want to say I’m not excited. She’s fantastic. That’s not where I’m going with this. Ladies and gentlemen, she’s a lot of things, she’s spectacular actually and congratulations on new mamahood. There’s one thing that she’s not. She ain’t Beyoncé.”
After his statement, the crowd could be heard having mixed reactions. While some applauded the anchor for his bold opinion, others booed Stephen A Smith. Many were heard shouting until Shepherd interjected and said that “Beyoncé had her time” at the Super Bowl and now it was Rihanna’s turn.
Sherri Shepherd went on to express excitement over Rihanna’s return to the stage, especially after recently giving birth to her first child. She also adamantly added- “I like Rihanna!”
Sherri Shepherd is not the only celebrity to express excitement over Rihanna’s performance. Rihanna’s baby daddy, A$AP Rocky, also said in an interview with Apple Music that he was “so glad” to see his “lady” return to making music and “getting out there.” He also added that Rihanna was going to “bring it” and that he was “more excited than everybody else, honestly.”