Stephen A. Smith Apologizes to Rihanna for Beyoncé Comparison – Billboard


Stephen A. Smith walked again the feedback he made evaluating Rihanna to Beyoncé on Wednesday (Jan. 18).

The second occurred when the firebrand sports activities commentator stopped by Sherri Shepherd’s eponymous speak present to debate the “Wanted Me” singer’s upcoming Tremendous Bowl LVII halftime present. “Girls and gents, she’s a whole lot of issues; she’s spectacular, really,” he stated. “There’s one factor she’s not: She ain’t Beyoncé.”

Clearly, the ill-suited comparability sparked a vocal outcry from the studio viewers — in addition to backlash amongst Rihanna’s followers on social media — and hours after the interview aired, Smith hopped on Instagram able to eat crow. “I’m gonna personal it,” he stated. “I do know what y’all tryin’ to do. However I’m gon’ personal it as a result of I receives a commission to talk for a dwelling, so I should be extra cautious.

“I need Rihanna to know: You’re a famous person, you’re sensational, you’re spectacular,” the ESPN character continued. “You’re no joke. And you’re a worthy individual to be doing the Super Bowl halftime show.”

Nevertheless, Smith then tried to justify his remark by blaming Shepherd for asking a query in entrance of her largely feminine studio viewers. “Now I’m a Beyoncé fan,” he said. “I feel that Beyoncé isn’t solely an exceptional performer, however the phenomenal performer. And the one purpose any sort 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.

“So what I’m saying is anyone has to measure as much as that,” he concluded. “Final yr with Snoop and Dre and Mary J. and Eminem, I used to be like, ‘Bruno Mars! Beyoncé! Coldplay! Massive time! They’ve obtained to measure as much as that.’ Anyone who does a Tremendous Bowl halftime present, perpetually I’m gonna say, ‘Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, and Beyoncé by themselves.’ Michael Jackson might nonetheless be alive and I’d say, ‘It’s gotta measure as much as that.’”

Watch Smith’s gasp-inducing Sherri interview and subsequent mea culpa to Rihanna under.

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