Rihanna returned to the live stage for a performance at the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show, and boy, was it worth the wait.
The Barbados-born pop singer didn’t hold back one bit during her career-spanning set, playing some of her biggest hits — “Umbrella,” “We Found Love,” and “Diamonds” — alongside standout features on “All of the Lights” and “Run This Town.” Making the breathtaking performance even more impressive is the fact she did so while pregnant. A baby bump was visible throughout her performance, and afterwards a representative for the singer confirmed that she is indeed expecting her second child.
Clad in a red jumpsuit, Rihanna showed no fear as she was lowered down to the stage on a floating platform to open the performance. Choreographed dancers surrounded Rihanna when she touched down, and though the superstar obviously wasn’t able to move as freely as she would otherwise, she still held her own. To close out the set, Rihanna was raised back up into the sky,
It had been five years since Rihanna’s last live performance, and she went through meticulous preparation to make sure it met her high standards. In a press conference held ahead of the Super Bowl, the singer estimated that she workshopped 39 different versions of the setlist.
Rihanna also shared the importance of representation for the performance: “That’s a big part of why it is important for me to do this show — representing for immigrants, representing for my country Barbados, representing for Black women everywhere.”
Replay Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show below.
The Super Bowl LVII matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles marks a similar landmark moment for representation. For the first time, two Black quarterbacks will start against each other when Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes faces off against Jalen Hurts.
To the chagrin of Rihanna Navy, she hasn’t released an album since 2016’s ANTI and her last performance was at the 2018 Grammy Awards. In the meantime, she’s been focused on her cosmetics and fashion company Fenty, which recently helped her become a billionaire at only 34 years old.
Last year, Rihanna contributed a pair of songs to the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack: “Born Again” and “Lift Me Up.” The latter was nominated for Best Original Song at the 2023 Oscars. With a second child on the way following her baby boy with A$AP Rocky, it probably will be a while before we hear any more new music from Rihanna.
This year’s halftime show marked the fourth produced by Pepsi and Roc Nation since JAY-Z came aboard with a highly publicized partnership with the NFL in 2019. It follows Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s joint performance in 2020, a lavish show from The Weeknd, and last year’s all-star performance led by Dr. Dre, who brought out Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and more.
Bitch Better Have My Money
Where Have You Been
Only Girl (In the World)
We Found Love
Pour It Up
All of the Lights
Run This Town