As Bad Gal Riri took to the Super Bowl 2023 Halftime stage, her packaged setlist ranging from her opening trap song “Bitch Better Have My Money” to the widely popular “Rude Boy” was not the only star of the show. Rihanna’s unzipped, candy apple red jumpsuit seemed to be revealing a bump that quickly led fans to widespread social media speculation that the Barbados-born singer was pregnant with her second child. Shortly after the performance, one of Rihanna’s reps confirmed that she and her partner A$AP Rocky are indeed expecting.
And while she’s not the first star to sneakily reveal a pregnancy mid performance — hello Beyoncé’s onstage bump reveal at the 2011 VMAs — she is the first to perform with child as the solo halftime performer at the most watched annual sporting event in the world.
Pregnancy rumors aside, Rihanna’s Super Bowl set had a whopping 12 smash-hit songs performed solely by the singer with no other on-stage appearances besides her talented team of dancers sporting all white outfits and dark shades. Riri belted familiar songs like “Where Have You Been” and “Only Girl (In the World)” perched on top of sky-high, moving platforms suspended between 15-60 feet into the air, which left fans shocked, amazed and slightly worried for the singer.
And while it looked risky, CTV’s interview with the halftime show production designer, Bruce Rodgers, revealed that Rihanna and her team were heavily strapped in with Brunel trusses that are “strong enough to ‘carry a freight train.’” The added height also gave Riri a bird’s eye view of her massive firework display lighting up the outside of Arizona’s State Farm Stadium.
Her performance of catchy club tunes like “Work,” “We Found Love,” “All of the Lights” and “Run This Town” had her grooving along with her backup dancers on more stable ground before finishing the show back in-flight with her 2007 hit “Umbrella” and an emotional rendition of “Diamonds.”
It’s safe to say Rihanna’s five-year performance hiatus is officially over, and her thrilling, and revealing, Super Bowl spectacle is sure to keep the singer in the headlines for a long while to come.
Watch the full performance HERE.