(Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone) Rihanna made her big return to the stage for the country’s most watched sporting event.
On Sunday February 12th at the 57th annual Super Bowl, pop singer Rihanna emerged from her long musical hiatus to perform at the event’s iconic Apple Music halftime show. For weeks leading up to the event, fans took to the internet exclaiming their excitement for the performance—and even began a trend guessing which popular song she would open the show with.
Rihanna hit the stage dressed in a fierce, all red outfit which she later paired with a matching floor-length puffer coat, paying homage to the late fashion journalist Andre Leon Talley. The hundreds of background dancers that accompanied the star during her performance matched Ri Ri’s puffy style—sporting an oversized, white, Michelin man-esque outfit.
The multi-tier stage gave an interesting floating illusion to the performance, where dancers and Rihanna herself synchronized in unique hip-hop style dance moves.
Fans everywhere channeled their boss energy during Rihanna’s opening song “Bitch Better Have My Money”. Along with this 2015 chart topper, the singer strategically chose to keep to her setlist classic—including her most popular songs such as “We Found Love”, “Rude Boy” and “Umbrella”. Despite her nearly 7 year performance break, Rihanna’s voice sounded angelic and clear throughout— specifically, during her finale solo performance of “Diamonds”.
Other notable songs from the event consist of famous collaboration projects Rihanna has been a part of, including the 2016 chart topper “Work” featuring Drake, “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled and “All of The Lights” by Kanye West.
In the last decade Rihanna set aside her music career and started up two very successful companies—Savage X Fenty lingerie and Fenty Beauty makeup & skincare. During her Super Bowl performance, Rihanna decided to shamelessly plug her products by gracefully applying a Fenty Beauty powder on her face to touch up her makeup look between songs. According to Forbes, her strategy proved successful— and Fenty Beauty reportedly gained a whopping estimate of $5.6 million dollars in sales post game day.
Aside from showing off her makeup, Rihanna revealed a secret much bigger during her Super Bowl performance by subtly announcing that she is pregnant with her second child. While not confirmed until post-show, fans were quick to notice the star’s emerging baby bump coming from her tight red bodysuit. In the first couple seconds of the performance, Rihanna can be seen slightly rubbing on her stomach, almost as if she is trying to get people to notice. This type of unspoken pregnancy announcement is not uncommon for Ri Ri—for the public first learned of her and partner A$AP Rocky’s first child through paparazzi photos.
Super Bowl viewers immediately took to the internet after the performance, which quickly became flooded with mixed reactions about the show. While some believe that Rihanna was incredibly entertaining—others believed the performance was boring and lacked the energy that is usually given at the Super Bowl halftime shows. Nevertheless, Rihanna’s comeback performance at this year’s Super Bowl gave viewers the 2000s nostalgia they have been longing for.