RTB Rewind: Queen Latifah Becomes the First Rapper to Perform at the Super Bowl

RTB Rewind: Queen Latifah Performs at the Super Bowl

Published Wed, January 25, 2023 at 10:41 AM EST

On Jan. 25, 1998, Queen Latifah became the first rapper to perform at the Super Bowl, performing at Super Bowl XXXII between the Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

Already, Latifah's career had been full of milestones and accomplishments -- in television, film, and music. In 1998, she further solidified her icon status, appearing on stage with a slew of legends for "A Tribute to Motown's 40th Anniversary," including Smokey Robinson, Boyz II Men, Martha Reeves, and The Temptations.

Grant it, she performed "Paper" from her 1998 album, Order in the Court, which features her flexing her singing skills, not rapping (the song samples the Motown classic "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong and made popular by Gladys Knight & The Pips and later by Marvin Gaye). Still, the 1998 performance was a significant move for Hip-Hop and Latifah, who made two more appearances at the Super Bowl performing "America the Beautiful" before the start of Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 and at Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.

Since then, a number of rappers have performed at the Super Bowl, the most notable being last year when Dr. Dre took over the stage for what's been deemed one of the greatest Halftime shows of all time. Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Anderson. Paak, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar were all on hand for the Emmy-winning set.

Check out Latifah's groundbreaking performance below.

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