Light up the sky: A review of Rihanna’s half-time performance

Rihanna captivates millions with her 13-minute performance at the 57th Super Bowl in Arizona


Ananya Sriram

An illustration depicting Rihanna’s half-time performance during Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12. Her jumpsuit revealed her pregnancy, with a baby bump visible through the layers of red.

by Emma Milner and Hima Thota

After seven years away from the stage, Rihanna is back, at least for the Super Bowl. 

Performing in an all-red jumpsuit, Rihanna’s performance to her hits also served as a pregnancy reveal with the baby bump visible through the layers of red.  

With her last album, “Anti,” released in 2016, the anticipation building up to her performance was widespread among viewers and fans. Never one to shy away from theatrics, Rihanna opened up the show from 60 feet above, standing on a floating platform. While singing her 2015 song “B—- Better Have My Money,” her backup dancers below, in all-white hooded outfits, mirrored the fierce energy of the song with their unique choreography.  

Following this opening, Rihanna segued into 11 other of her hit songs, including “Where Have you Been,” “Only Girl (In the World)” and “We Found Love.”

Transitioning into her song “Work,” the significance of Rihanna’s performance slowly came to be clear. Moving to her songs with minimal choreography, she swayed to the beat of the melody and simultaneously represented the true message behind Sunday’s performance: her appearance wasn’t a full return –– with a baby on the way, it seems she was trying to prove the opposite. The performance was a treat for fans and viewers to enjoy while she continued investing her time in her personal life. 

Despite this, Rihanna’s performance encompassed the reasons why so many fall in love with her music. With her rich vocals sounding through the stadium as lights shone down upon her, it’s clear that she is a true star in the musical world. 

As “All of the Lights,” Kanye West’s song on which Rihanna was featured, blasted over the speakers, Rihanna quickly touched up her makeup on stage, a classy move that also doubled as a cosmetics ad for her self-made brand Fenty Beauty. The stage was hers, and as is evident in the fact that her performance drew in five million more viewers on television, Rihanna meant more to the Super Bowl than what the event meant to her. As she rose back into the air for her last song “Diamonds,” it became clear that Rihanna bestowed her presence over Arizona to perform her duty as an entertainer and icon of the 21st century.