How Rihanna's Barbados roots will influence Super Bowl music
Rihanna's comeback performance at Super Bowl 57 isn't just important to the international artist and pop culture icon: It's also important for the entire Caribbean.Rihanna, appearing in a Thursday news conference to discuss her Super Bowl halftime show performance, said the 13-minute show will be a celebration of her 17-year musical catalogue. And, much like her earliest musical works, it will feature Caribbean influences."You’re gonna see on Sunday, from the time it starts, it just never ends until it’s like, the very last second," Rihanna said on Thursday. "I know I’m saying too much, but it's a jam-packed show. …"That doubtless is music to the ears of both Rihanna's fans — and people from her home who have followed her career up to this this point.MORE: Watch Super Bowl 57 live with fuboTV (free trial)With that, here's everything you need to know about Rihanna's roots, and how they influenced her earliest music and Super Bowl setlist:Where is Rihanna from?Rihanna was born Feb. 20, 1988 in the St. Michael parish of Barbados. She reportedly grew up in a three-bedroom bungalow in the capital city of Bridgetown and attended Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary School and, later, Combermere School.Curiously, she attended the latter with future international cricketers Chris Jordan and Carlos Brathwaite, though she eventually dropped out in the early 2000s to pursue her musical career.Caribbean influence in Rihanna's musicOne of Rihanna's earliest influences was Bob Marley, whom she would see on TV because of the Jamaican's fame throughout the Caribbean. Said Rihanna in 2010 of Marley: "He's one of my favorite artists of all time — he really paved the way for every other artist out of the Caribbean".Her first two studio albums — "Music of the Sun" in 2005 and "A Girl Like Me" in 2006 — were greatly influenced by Caribbean music. Rihanna in 2005 described her sound as, "a fusion of reggae, hip-hop and R&B, with a little something different thrown in."Indeed, Rihanna's debut single — "Pon de Replay" — means "play it again" in Bajan Creole, the language used for everyday speech in Barbados. Another facet of Caribbean influence on Rihanna's early music is dancehall reggae, a type of music popular in Jamaica.While she largely moved on from those influences after her first two albums, she still infused it in some of her later work, most notably her "Rude Boy" music video, which featured performers in Caribbean dancehall-inspired costumes.MORE: Tracking Rihanna's rumored halftime show set listWill Rihanna's Super Bowl performance have Caribbean influences?Rihanna on Thursday said her performance will be a celebration of both her music catalogue and her Barbadian roots."I mean, that’s a big part of why this is important for me to do this show: representation," Rihanna said. "Representing for immigration, representing for my country, Barbados. Representing for Black women everywhere. I just think that’s really important. That’s key for people to see the possibilities. And I’m honored to be here, I’m honored to be doing this this year."Rihanna did not specify which of her songs would be in the 13-minute setlist, nor how Caribbean influences would make their way into the performance. Regardless, she said her appearance at Super Bowl 57 is important not only for her, but her home country of Barbados:"I mean it’s a long way from home, right? It’s a long way from home. It’s a beautiful journey that I’m on. And I could have never guessed that I would have made it here," Rihanna said. "So it’s a celebration of that. I’m excited to do that. I’m really excited to have Barbados on the Super Bowl stage."