Arts, Music

Rihanna Shines in Super Bowl Halftime Show, Her First Live Performance Since 2018

Rihanna shined “bright like a diamond” when she performed live for the first time since the 2018 Grammy Awards at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 12. Rihanna utilized the opportunity to announce her second pregnancy and to promote her business, Fenty Beauty, which she has been focusing on in her hiatus from releasing music. 

Rihanna entered the performance on a floating platform 60 feet above the ground in the center of the stadium, surrounded by backup dancers on slightly lower platforms around her in a pyramid formation. She started her performance with her song, “Bitch Better Have My Money.” 

Her assembly of backup dancers were dressed in white puffy hooded coats with matching baggy pants, accessorized with black sunglasses. Underneath the baggy white set, the dancers revealed various pieces from Savage X Fenty, Rihanna’s clothing and lingerie label. 

Rihanna’s monochromatic red outfit stood out among the crowd of white and mimicked the long red platform stage on the field. She wore a red bodysuit with a Loewe fashioned breast bustier under an almost entirely unzipped red jumpsuit and, on top of it all, two red Alaïa coats with matching red Alaïa gloves. Her red sneakers were from a brand collaboration between Maison Margiela and Salomon. Rihanna’s outfit was unique and a stylish choice for her pregnancy reveal because of the contrast between the baggy open jumpsuit with the tight fitted bodysuit revealing her baby bump underneath. 

Rihanna’s hairstyle, makeup, and detailed accessories all added to her iconic and fierce look. She wore a bright red lipstick shade and matching fiery red nails. Her hair was parted in the middle and slicked back into multiple braided ponytails with two pieces of hair in the front to frame her face. 

Rihanna also dazzled with her variety of diamond accessories. She wore three diamond Joseph Saidian & Sons brooches and a stunning Jacob & Co. diamond-encrusted watch, diamond earrings designed by Messika Jewelry, and arguably her most lavish accessory, a rare Bayco ruby and diamond ring. 

Rihanna sang a medley of her greatest hits including “Where Have You Been,” “Only Girl (In the World),” “We Found Love,” “Rude Boy,” “Work,” “Wild Thoughts,” “Pour It Up,” “All of the Lights,” “Run This Town,” and “Umbrella.” 

While singing her verse on Kanye West’s “All of the Lights,” rather than bringing out West—who has been a part of numerous controversies—to sing, Rihanna showed off her business Fenty. One of her dancers handed her the invisimatte blotting powder, which she applied before trading back her microphone and continuing her song. This quick and simple reapplication of a beauty product was a clever promotion of Fenty.  

Rihanna did not bring in any guests during the performance and instead performed the entire show solo, a contrast to previous years’ performances. In 2022, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar all performed together. In 2020, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira co-headlined the show and brought in Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Lopez’s daughter Emme Muñiz as guests. 

The most striking moment of the halftime show occurred in Rihanna’s finale, “Diamonds.” She was wearing her second Alaïa coat, an open maxi leather puffer coat with integrated gloves that stretched out and rested on the area around her. As the platform beneath her gradually rose to the sky again, the audience turned on their flashlights. The stadium filled up with the lights, creating a shining spectacle surrounding the field.

Rihanna held her stomach, confirming the rumors of her pregnancy in an emotionally provocative nature. Her pregnancy reveal was particularly emotive because her voice fell soft and grew raspy.

“When you hold me, I’m alive, we’re like diamonds in the sky,” Rihanna sang while holding her stomach. 

February 22, 2023