Music lovers have been on the edge of their seats since Barbadian singer Rihanna announced that she would be the halftime performer for Super Bowl LVII in September of last year. Rihanna has been on a hiatus from her musical career since the release of her 2016 album: ANTI, instead focusing on her makeup and skin care brand: Fenty Beauty. Fans of Rihanna, who have been begging for her to return to music for six long years, have been counting down the days till her performance.
rhianna will always be promoting fenty pic.twitter.com/5a5z7tqvG1
— 𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐧 (@shanxeditss) February 13, 2023
In an interview with Apple Music prior to her performance, Rihanna was asked, “Will there be a surprise (referring to her performance)?” to which Rihanna responded, “I’m thinking about bringing someone.” This sent fans wild, speculating which musical artist Riri might bring out to shock the audience. To the world’s surprise, Rihanna’s “special guest” turned out to be her baby bump that she revealed in the opening sequences of the performance. To keep the momentum of her pregnancy reveal going, Rihanna kicked off the performance with her 2015 song: “Bitch Better Have My Money” (inadvertently reminding fans of her billionaire status due to Fenty Beauty). The images of glass platforms floating above the Super Bowl stadium as Rihanna sang beloved hits did not fail to amaze fans. Once the platform was lowered to ground is when the performance truly began.
Rihanna, dressed head to toe in a red jumpsuit and surrounded by dancers dressed in white puffer coats, gave me the entertainment that I was thirsting for. Yet, as the dancers showcased their talent, Rihanna’s performance began to plateau. Rihanna was never known to be a great dancer, but her dance moves on the Super Bowl stage seemed to lack the energy that I expected of her. It seemed like everyone around me was focussed more on her surprise pregnancy bump than on the performance itself. The background dancers are what really made the performance entertaining.
Elmo thinks you look great in red Ms. @Rihanna, just like Elmo! ❤️
— Elmo (@elmo) February 13, 2023
A highlight of the night was when Rihanna applied a Fenty Beauty blush while walking across stage (once again reminding us of her billionaire business ventures).
the whole timeline afraid to ask if Rihanna is pregnant pic.twitter.com/KGQEhItzqx
— Ira (@iramadisonthree) February 13, 2023
As Rihanna belted out some of her most loved songs from her discography such as “Pour It Up,” “All of the Lights,” “Work,” and “Umbrella,” I was left wanting more. What was supposed to be a 13 minute performance felt more like 13 seconds. Rihanna did, however, redeem herself during the finale of the performance where she donned a floor length red puffer coat (an homage to fashion icon Andre Talley) and sang a heartfelt rendition of her 2012 song “Diamonds” as she floated back into the air on a large glass platform.
Although Rihanna may not have fulfilled my dream of an epic Super Bowl performance, it is important to remember that she just gave birth in May of 2022, and is several months pregnant again. It is amazing that she was able to perform and especially sing the way that she did during her performance. During another interview with Apple Music, Rihanna stated, “It’s important for me to do this. It’s important for representation. It’s important for my son to see that.” Fans are highly anticipating what’s next for Rihanna and her new family, even if it means another musical hiatus.
By Amaar Zarrieff, Freshman, Howard University
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