Babyface on Upcoming Super Bowl Performance, Rihanna's Half-Time Show and New Music (Exclusive)

The singer will perform 'America the Beautiful' ahead of Sunday's big game.

Babyface is gearing up for the Super Bowl! ET's Kevin Frazier spoke to the 64-year-old singer ahead of his "America the Beautiful" performance at Sunday's big game, and Babyface was still processing the fact that he landed the gig.

"I can't believe that I even got asked. It's crazy," he told ET, before sharing how he's been preparing for the big moment.

"The whole thing is that I have to think... 'What kind of arrangement are you going to do? Do you want [there] to be a choir? Do you want this? Do you do you want to do urban? Do you want this and that?'" Babyface said. "I just thought the best way for me to do it is to just pick up my guitar and sing it the way that I would have sung it when I was a kid."

While Babyface opted to go classic for his performance, he jokingly promised that it "will differ a lot" from the first time he publicly sang the song when he was a sophomore in high school.

"I'm not gonna try to do anything amazing," he said. "I'm just gonna keep it simple and heartfelt."

As for how he expects to feel on Super Bowl Sunday, Babyface, who will be playing a custom guitar designed by Sue Tsai during his performance, said, "I'm just hoping that I'm not nervous." However, he admitted, "I'm gonna be way nervous, legs gonna be shaking."

"It is a special moment, so you want to do your best," he said. "Whenever you sing any of these songs, whether it's 'America the Beautiful' or 'Star Spangled Banner,' you get judged by it all the time, so [the] only thing I can do is just be honest and be heartfelt and put the same love into it that Sue put into this guitar."

"I'm just honored to be a part of it. It's gonna be an experience. I wish my mom was here to see it, but she'll see it from above," he added of his mother, Barbara Jean Edmonds, who died in 2012. "...It's not something that I was looking to do... It wasn't on the bucket list. It wasn't anything planned. It's something that I know my mom just wouldn't believe it... It's a it's a huge honor. I'm taking it very seriously and [will] do my best."

While Babyface told ET that he'd turn down the chance to play the halftime show because it's "a lot of pressure," he can't wait to watch Rihanna take the stage.

"She's just got so much great music. We're just gonna be there to celebrate and celebrate her," he said. "... I think she's incredible. I think she's gonna do a great job at the Super Bowl."

It's a busy week for Babyface, who is releasing a new single, titled "As a matter of fact," ahead of his Super Bowl performance.

"It's a feel good record. It's love," he teased of the song. "... It's something I'm proud of. I think that it's something that's needed today. There's no darkness in it. A lot of things have been darker recently, so I want to bring some light."

The 2023 Super Bowl airs Sunday, Feb. 12 on Fox. Stay tuned right here to for more exclusive Super Bowl content.  Additionally, CBS Sports has full in-depth Super Bowl coverage.



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