Rihanna’s Super Bowl Surprises and Let Downs

By Staff

Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII’s Halftime performance that took place on Sunday, February 12, 2023 featured her baby bump. Soon after taking the stage for thirteen minutes, the singer and Fenty Beauty founder announced that she was indeed pregnant for the second time.

During her performance, Rihanna dazzled the audience in a red outfit custom from Spanish designer brand LOEWE. To go with the fit that revealed her baby bump, Rihanna rocked a bold red lip from her very own brand, along with the rest of her makeup. This was a pretty good marketing strategy to promote her brand because seriously she looked flawless. As for her dancers, they were dressed in all white with big coats and pants. Visually, the combination was striking

Throughout the performance she and some of her dancers were floating at high heights – which hopefully, looked more dangerous than it actually was- in the arena with an impressive light display. This was my favorite aspect of the performance because it was different from the last Super Bowl Halftime with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem’s performance having cars and multiple sets in the arena. It was refreshing to see that Rihanna did not do a repeat of their legendary performance. 

Like described it was nice to watch, but there could have been more action from her dancers that were on the floor. I understand that Rihanna could not do too much dancing due to taking care of her body while pregnant (which should always take top priority), but what was the excuse for her dancers? 

At the very least, her dancers could have done exceptional moves to truly elevate the set. Instead, there were parts that looked almost like a high intensity interval gym workout with the dancers doing what appeared to be scissor kicks. Overall the moves were just basic. 

On a brighter side, Rihanna filled her thirteen minutes of stage time with bangers. To list them, Bustle provided the public with all the songs she played: “B[*]tch Better Have My Money”, “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”, “Umbrella”, and “Diamonds”. 

On the down side, you may have recognized that some of those songs include features, like “Work”  featuring Drake along with “Umbrella” and “Run This Town” which features Jay Z; despite this, Rihanna did not bring anyone to perform alongside her like many Super Bowl performers have done in the past (like how Coldplay brought Beyonce and Bruno Mars into his Super Bowl 50 performance). This was especially disappointing considering that the cameras actually cut to Jay Z sometime after the performance being in attendance at the Super Bowl.

Super Bowls are just more exciting when you have multiple performers. One reason being that if you do not know one, you may know who the other is; therefore it appeals to more people. Regardless, Rihanna has benefited from her performance. According to Forbes, “her music experienced a 211% increase in on-demand streams and a 390% increase in digital song sales overall, as the songs she performed saw a similar boost”. 

So, in conclusion: good job Rihanna – next time it would be nice to see other artists there as well and better choreography. 

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