The moment everyone was waiting for — or at least, non-football fans and everybody outside of Philly, Kansas City, and Phoenix (where the game was held) — has arrived: Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show performance has brought the house down.
While the set included such hits as “Rude Boy,” “Work,” and “We Found Love.” The set opened with “Bitch Better Have My Money” as Rihanna stood on a suspended platform high above the field, and as it dropped down to hover just over the field, she launched into a dance breakdown-driven “Where Have You Been” and “Only Girl.” She even threw in a little of DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts,” as a treat. The final song was “DIamonds,” a showstopping number that once again saw her ascend to the top of the stadium as thousands of fans’ phone lights glittered around her like, well, diamonds in the sky.
It’s obviously difficult to squeeze 15+ years into just 13 minutes of performance — as evidenced by Rihanna remixing the set no fewer than 39 times — but fortunately, all those comparisons between Rihanna and Beyoncé turned out to be good for something. Rihanna watched Beyoncé’s 2013 and 2016 Super Bowl Halftime performances for inspiration, telling iHeartRadio, “She is a beast and a whole other level. Just to be inspired, really.”
In addition to the challenge of compressing so much music into such a short amount of time, Rihanna also had to contend with conservative pushback to her playing the Halftime Show. Ronny Jackson, a Republican Congressman from Texas, tweeted, “Why is the NFL showcasing this crap? Rihanna SHOULD NOT be the halftime performer!!” However, he was quickly (and rightly) shouted down by Twitter users who recognized his outburst for the cry for attention it obviously was.
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Now that the performance itself is in the rearview, fans are looking forward to Rihanna’s next move — hoping for a new album or tour announcement — although she’s warned that just because she’s returned to the stage, doesn’t mean she’s automatically jumping headfirst back into the music spotlight. But we can hope!
Watch Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show performance above.
This post is being updated.