On February 12, 2023, Rihanna captivated viewers with her first-ever Super Bowl performance.
After taking a hiatus from music for several years, fans rejoiced in September when the LGBTQ+ ally announced that she would be singing during the highly anticipated 2023 American football halftime show.
Ready, Set, Rihanna. 🎶>🏈 pic.twitter.com/k2lKTrHY62
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) February 12, 2023
Halfway through the 2023 game between Philadelphia and Kansas City, the 34-year-old artist made an unforgettable return to the stage with a 13-minute set list that showcased samples from 12 of her hit songs.
At the beginning of the show, Rihanna stood on the stage wearing a stunning red jumpsuit. She placed a hand over her stomach, revealing that she is pregnant with her second baby, making history as the first pregnant woman to headline the halftime show.
This was a kii. 😂 #FentyBowl pic.twitter.com/pxsLfRl1nt
— he reads. (@TheGreatIsNate) February 13, 2023
She opened the concert with “B— Better Have My Money” and then proceeded to sing and dance above the crowd while fearlessly balancing on a floating platform. Her legendary performance reminded fans how many hits she’s accumulated over the years, including “We Found Love,” “Work,” and “Umbrella.”
Rihanna also took a moment to casually promote her beauty line by pausing to casually freshen her make-up mid-performance with a Fenty Beauty palette. The 3-second stunt was a nod to her entrepreneurial success, earning her the hashtag FentyBowl.
This woman gave a whole performance with growing human repositioning her internal organs and sitting on her bladder. Like all I got is respect and joy for #Rihanna . Period @rihanna pic.twitter.com/JWQI0O4Ni3
— Nyx, A Soul With Good Intentions(She/Her) (@badwolfreigns) February 13, 2023
The show closed with a performance of one of her most famous songs, “Diamonds.” Rihanna balanced on a teetering platform high above the stage while the crowd sang, “we’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky,” with glittering lights shining brightly from the stands.
An estimated 200 million viewers watched the Super Bowl, and many fans shared their reactions to the halftime show on Twitter.
One fan said: “She makes me feel proud to be a woman…she is THE MOMENT.”
She makes me feel proud to be a woman, proud to be a Navy. She is the cultural impact on this show, she is THE MOMENT. She doesnt need big stunts to prove herself. I love you with all my heart @rihanna #FentyBowl pic.twitter.com/s4SrjZZ9PI
— cruella (@notcruella_) February 13, 2023
Another fan shared: “…no one else could do what she did…”
Being pregnant and performing for 13Mim without any guests on one of the biggest stages in the world.. It's literally a BIG challenge.
no one else could do what she did.
Congratulations mother for 2nd child @rihanna #Riri #FentyBowl #TeamFenty pic.twitter.com/MCNCtI8imU
— 𝑯𝒂𝒓𝒍𝒆𝒚. (@reallpose) February 13, 2023
Rihanna shared that she considered 39 different versions of the show before settling on the final setlist. It has been seven years since her last studio album, and fans were thrilled to see her back on stage.
Rihanna was originally invited to perform at the Super Bowl in 2018, but she declined at the time in support of Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who were protesting police brutality and racial inequalities. Eminem took a knee during last year’s show, but this year’s show did not include an obvious statement.
That was so simple in the best way. Elegant. Iconic. All timer. #Rihanna
— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) February 13, 2023
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