Rihanna announced last year that she will be making a comeback at this year’s Super Bowl and fans of the rock star went buzzing in exhilaration. The singer last performed at the 2018 Grammy awards and only released new music last year with the Wakanda Forever soundtrack “Lift Me Up” after a five-year music hiatus since her collaboration with DJ Khaled on “Wild Thoughts” and had instead gone ahead to launch her Fenty brand in 2017 and concentrate on being a fashion Tycoon and a mother to her 9 months old son she had with A$AP Rocky in May 2022.
It was only normal that lovers of the Fenty boss and the music industry at large were thrilled to see the “Diamonds” crooner perform. However, as most stage appearances from entertainers who have taken a break from the industry usually turn out, the singer came with lots of surprises to the Super Bowl LVII which took place on Sunday, February 12 and one stood out of all.
Below are some things that have left us thrilled about Rihanna’s much-anticipated Super Bowl performance.
Rihanna brought ‘Someone’ to her Super Bowl performance
In an interview last week, the Bajan singer was asked if there would be any surprises during her performance at Arizona’s State Farm Stadium. “I’m thinking about bringing someone,” she replied. “I’m not sure, we’ll see.”
Naturally, fans assumed she was talking about one of the many artists she’s collaborated with during her illustrious career. Probably, a guest appearance from Jay-Z, Drake, or Eminem seemed both likely and in keeping with the half-time show tradition of surprise duets. Little did we know, that the mother of one was hinting about a new human on the way. Clad beautifully in a baggy scarlet jumpsuit made by Loewe, Rihanna took to the stage in front of a global audience of millions at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona with a protruded tummy appearing like a baby bump leaving her fans in hysteria guessing if the Barbados singer was expecting baby number two. While the news of her baby bump went viral on social media, a representative of the star confirmed to People and The Hollywood Reporter that she indeed was expecting a baby.
The Grammy winner said she first thought twice about performing at the Super Bowl but motherhood ultimately inspired her to perform at the big game. “I was like, ‘You sure? I’m three months postpartum. Should I be making major decisions like this right now? I might regret this,’” she said. “When you become a mom, there’s something that just happens where you feel like you could take on the world — you can do anything,” she added. “And the Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world, so as scary as that was … there’s something exhilarating about the challenge of it all,” she said. “It’s important for my son to see that.”
Rihanna’s made an electrifying performance of her discography
Having waited for the Fenty queen to perform for so long, fans had made a mental list of their favorite songs of hers they wanted to see her perform. Per usual, Rihanna didn’t come to slack. She appeared on one of the several floating platforms which soared high above the crowd, as a swarm of energetic dancers, all dressed in white, gathered below singing “BBHMM” with the audience screaming atop their voices not expecting her to start with one of her recent hits considering it was a free show.
The singer rattled through several recognizable hits, front-loading her set with some of her most danceable and up-tempo numbers including “Only Girl (In The World)” and the magnificent “Where Have You Been”. She went ahead to perform a huge number of hits into a tight 14-minute set, only performing the first verse or chorus of certain songs. But monster hits such as “Rude Boy” were balanced with the somewhat harder-edged and lesser-known “Pour It Up”.
Speaking on how she was to fit her 18-year catalog into a 13-minute set ao appropriately Rihanna said. “The setlist was the biggest challenge. That was the hardest part — deciding how to maximize 13 minutes, but also celebrate. That’s what the show’s going to be — it’s going to be a celebration of my catalog in the best way,” she said. “I think we did a pretty good job at narrowing it down.”
Rihanna found a way to plug her brand into the performance
A business tycoon knows the right place and moment to make a subtle statement for her brand and Rihanna wasn’t going to let go of this opportunity. Mid-performance, Rihanna took out time for a quick makeup touch-up using her Fenty Beauty cosmetic brand which was one of the viral moments of her performance.
She also keyed into the annual joke of the culture clash between pop music and sports fans. Ahead of the show, her clothing label manufactured T-shirts with the slogan: “Rihanna concert interrupted by a football game. Weird but whatever.” Model Cara Delevingne was among the attendees who sported wearing one on Sunday.
Disappointments or probably not?
Somewhat disappointingly, the setlist took advantage of some of her best-known collaborations without any of her collaborators joining her on stage. As she performed “Run This Town”, “All of the Lights”, and “Wild Thoughts”, there were no appearances from Jay-Z, Ye (Kanye West), or DJ Khaled, who normally feature on those tracks. To make up for this we could probably say Rihanna gave us a guest appearance with her incoming baby which had already left everyone whispering and excited.
Also, some fans admitted to a tinge of disappointment that the singer being pregnant would likely mean yet another delay to Rihanna’s much-anticipated ninth studio album. Even with this, the majority of her fans were joyful and went to social media to congratulate her and the father of the baby, A$AP Rocky.
Lastly, for reasons unknown Rihanna chose not to perform her most recent song, “Lift Me Up” from the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” soundtrack album.