Pregnant Rihanna delivered a memorable, if low-energy, Halftime performance

First off, that was a pregnancy confirmation for Rihanna at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Shortly after the show, Rihanna’s rep confirmed that Rihanna is expecting again. She just welcomed Baby Boy Fenty in May of last year! She got pregnant again right away, damn.

So, I’m sure Rihanna’s pregnancy affected the staging and choreography of the Halftime Show, but even without the pregnancy, I’m not sure she would have chosen to do much differently. Unlike many Halftime shows in recent memory, Rihanna didn’t throw everything and the kitchen sink into this sh-t. There were no guest-stars – Rihanna knew she was enough. There wasn’t a ton of choreography for Rihanna – she let her dancers take care of that. There weren’t elaborate costume changes – Rihanna said she’s not doing all of that. What we got was a simplified, almost elegant stage set-up with floating Plexiglass platforms and a very basic red-and-white color scheme. It worked… in my opinion.

The thing that occurred to me is… I bet the NFL is very happy about this. She kept it simple, there was no vulgarity, no crazy moments overshadowing the game, yet she delivered a memorable performance. Considering all of the (completely justified) sh-t she’s talked about the NFL, I wonder if they were shocked that she kept everything (relatively) wholesome. She’s even being praised by NFL moms for being a glowing example of pregnancy and motherhood.

Also, the fact that she whipped out a Fenty compact and checked her makeup mid-performance? She said, I’m a billionaire now, be grateful you’re getting this.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Cover Images, Getty.

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165 Responses to “Pregnant Rihanna delivered a memorable, if low-energy, Halftime performance”

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  1. Arizona says:

    I really like Rihanna and her music, but I don’t think I would call anything that happened in this performance memorable other than all of Twitter trying to figure out whether she was pregnant or not. I’m sure her being pregnant affected what she was doing, but she didn’t really attempt to lip sync that well even lol. I don’t think she needed a guest but it was incredibly boring. which is crazy when you consider all of her hits!

    • DeniseMich says:

      Her backup singers were on stage. You couldn’t see them on TV. I think her show was great.

      She was singing because you could hear how some pieces were not completely as they sound via recording.

      Don’t hate on Rihanna. She did a fantastic job.

      • Concern Fae says:

        A friend is a concert sound mixer who has been on the road with Madonna and other huge acts.

        How it works is that during rehearsals they record a vocal using the arrangements the band will be using. So the vocal isn’t the one from the record. During the show, there is someone at a mixing board with the live feed in one ear and the recorded one in the other. They then do a continuously adjusted mix of live and recording vocals, which is what the audience hears.

      • Arizona says:

        I’m not hating on her, but it was not a particularly memorable performance. and I’m not trying to be rude, but she definitely wasn’t singing the whole time. there were multiple times that she moved away from the mic and her voice kept going (and it wasn’t the backup singers unless they just sing the whole song lol).

      • Coco says:


        People are allowed to not like the show and think it was underwhelming . Just because you think she did a fantastic job doesn’t mean everyone dose.

      • Gruey says:

        Pregnancy hits people differently. My first I was in court trying cases daily. My second, on the couch or over the toilet. Then I the hospital with preeclampsia.

        We’re used to seeing pregnant women push themselves physically, but tbh what she did would still qualify as pushing herself imho. Who knows how she’s feeling in her joints, her digestion, her stamina. I applaud her

      • Green Desert says:

        @Concern Fae, thanks for adding that info. Everyone lip-syncs to a certain extent during this big of a performance.

    • Imara219 says:

      Yeah, I agree. I like Rihanna. I like her music, it’s a part of my rotation and I play Sledgehammer at least once a month. I root her for success. I even like how, before the performance, she acknowledged that she was watching Beyonce’s Halftime for pointers; that’s just a nice show of solidarity. However, during the performance, I bopped my head, but the whole thing was just lovely. Not really memorable but lovely. I also felt like the pregnancy reveal was the most memorable part. I liked the shifting platforms, and I really do applaud her for doing anything like that while preggers but the performance was ok, and that’s fine.

    • Old_Crone says:

      I feel like this would have looked better in person with the multiple platforms and the field full of dancers.

    • DouchesOfCambridge says:

      her show was low energy, so low that I kept waiting for a guest to appear and pull the energy up. it’s great that she can do this while preggers, because my vibe was more like the exorcist vibe when I was pregnant – vomitting and close to death, but definitely, if it was going to be low energy like that, they should have brought in a 2nd artist. Her dancers where great though. When it ended, I was like, where’s the rest of the show? felt like something was missing and the whole time I kept telling my family to give her a chance to shed those extra pounds – and not to bodyshame her because she looked pregnant lol.

      • lucky says:

        huh… strange flex to say you told your family to ‘give her a chance to shed the extra lbs,’ rather than telling them to keep their body shaming comments to themselves and her body isn’t any of their business…

      • TeamMeg says:

        Why is it okay to shame your family members, though? Not to mention your fellow CBers. Shaming is shaming. We need to find new, better and different ways to educate people and change the world. Show a little kindness @lucky.

      • Alice says:

        We dedicated the time to the dog walk. It was ine of the boring halftimes in our opinion.

      • lucky says:

        You are right, @TeamMeg, I could have said that nicer, I am definitely triggered by alllll the comments on her body and the toxic body shaming of women. I think it is lazy that we are still where we are, and it makes me feel rage. And, people can only be where they are, and we can certainly endeavor to meet them there. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can do better. Also, feel free to help find a better way to phrase it when another woman is in a moment when she can’t.

    • Fabiola says:

      She looked cute but there was nothing memorable about this performance. It was bland. Also, if you not really gonna dance then at least lip sync correctly. She could have brought out Carlos Santana or Jay Z.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I enjoyed the performance, she ran through her greatest hits, the choreography was good (for the dancers), I liked the floating stages, etc. But I did not think it was memorable and I am not going to watch it again on YouTube today the way I did last year’s performance or Shakira’s performance etc.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Same here, I enjoyed it but it’s not something I’ll remember years from now (and I say this as a fan.) I will say that she did seem to be enjoying herself, and the ‘touching up my already flawless look’ bit made me smile, but otherwise it was a perfectly okay show.

  3. Snuffles says:

    We ain’t EVER getting new music.

    That said, the performance reminded me how many bangers she’s had and just how long her career has been at only 34. She literally has nothing left to prove. If she wants, she can retire and just be a MILF.

  4. Ctmamom says:

    Her performance was so lame. She was smart announcing her pregnancy so the headlines this morning are all about that rather than her sad halftime show.

    • Naomi says:

      I wondered about this too…like, good thing she was pregnant because otherwise critics would actually be talking about her low-energy performance.

      • Boxy Lady says:

        Could be the other way around. She had a low energy performance because she was pregnant. She definitely moved more when she was low to the ground.

      • Jess says:

        It’s amazing to me that people are simply calling her performance low energy like she isn’t at least 5 months pregnant. She obviously had to tailor it to accommodate her energy level and she still seemed out of breathe mid way through. She did the best she could in her state and I think it’s great that she still took it on even though she’s pregnant.

  5. Runaway says:

    Yes, it was not the stage production of Beyonce or Jlo and Shakira which to me are the standards.
    But Rihanna was never gonna give us all that, it’s not her style.
    I loved it, it was just so nice to see her on stage and I grooved to it all.
    So happy and proud of Lil RIRI still killing it, in her own riri way lol

    • Lens says:

      No she will just give us good songs sung with a good voice. I understand her not wanting to change clothes and bounce around while pregnant. She has nothing to prove. It was fun being on twitter and everyone afraid to ask if she was pregnant while asking. Then the annoying instagram moms saying they turned off halftime because it was immoral in front of their kids 🙄

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I think it was way better stage production than Jlo and Shakira.

      Rhianna had really striking visuals with the platforms. The dancer’s costumes were so bold, it really accentuated their movements. The white changed to red or blue or white depending on the light. I feel this REALLY utilized the fact that they were in a stadium. By comparison, I feel the other show was more sloppy and chaotic, visually.

      • Fabiola says:

        This show was low energy. Shakira and JLo had people dancing. Rihanna’s show had people snoozing. I get she’s pregnant and tired that’s why she should have brought guests with her onstage to take the load off her. I kept thinking there was going to be a high point in the performance but then it just ended and I thought that was it. If you’re gonna do a one woman show she needs to check out Lady Gaga.

  6. Jessica says:

    It was… meh. Not the worst, not anything to write home about. Out of 39 options, this was what she went with?

  7. Noki says:

    I actually liked it, she went the simple route and showcased her hits.Rihannas appeal has always been her swag and hits and not some high octane performer. And the fact that she fit in 14 songs in 13 mins is crazy.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      Agree Noki. I really enjoyed the simplicity of the songs being featured and not all the bells and whistles. (I’ve liked those things before in other half time performances). The rising platform stuff was pretty cool considering she is pregnant. 14 songs in 13 minutes. Maybe that was part of my enjoyment-it covered her hits-and it was a throwback to Stars on 45 Beatles medley.
      (lol a fave at the roller skating rink in the early 80s)

      Giggled at Michael Strahan making a point of saying hi to Rihanna and the sports guys discussing the performance. Also enjoyed my husband not switching the channel because we were waiting for Umbrella to make an appearance.

  8. Rihanna is a millennial icon – it was fun just hearing her songs and being like “oh yeah I loved that song, that was what, like, 2009? And she really was like you’ll get me and that’ll be enough!! Good for RiRi.

    I wonder if this will be one of the last performances we get from her?

    • Diamond Rottweiler says:

      I’m salty about the Johnny Depp thing. But I’ll say when I was her age and pregnant, and had to do some public performances starting at about 5 months in, just reading aloud, not singing and dancing, I was shocked by how hard it was to breathe through it. So all I could think watching last night was “damn that woman has some serious vocal control” ( and she was definitely singing for a good part of it). And I liked the statement of it, honestly. “Pregnancy is a normal part of life for many child bearing people and I’m not slinging myself from a catapult, thanks. Here’s the songs. You’re welcome.”

  9. Naomi says:

    there was nothing memorable about the performance — or one could say the only thing memorable about the performance was the pregnancy announcement. like, if she didn’t have that to reveal at the halftime show, i’m pretty sure people would be a lot less glowing in their review of her performance — which she definitely seemed to phone in. who knows whether she signed on to this before or after the pregnancy (it’s not our business), but all I can say is that from what I saw, her pregnancy was a way to buffer any real criticism because who wants to criticize a pregnant person for a half-assed performance? If you’re pregnant, either go all in on it anyway for a live performance (like Beyonce did) or just… say no.

    Rihanna has got a good catalog, and def has “i don’t give a f** energy.” apart from that, i just don’t really get the hype around her. she’s… fine? she’s fine. as someone on twitter said “I’m whelmed. Not over, not under, just whelmed.” lol

    • Snuffles says:

      Rihanna has never been a big dancer. She’s more of a mover. Even if she wasn’t pregnant, she would never do anything like Beyonce of J Lo.

      Rihanna has dope music, style, swag, statuesque beauty and an engaging personality.

    • OriginalLeigh says:

      Agreed. It honestly felt like a really elaborate pregnancy announcement. LOL. She’s obviously had hit after hit after hit but, as many have said, she didn’t even try very hard to keep up with the lip synching. Positives: She looked gorgeous, still has charisma for days, and the pregnancy reveal was exciting. This Super Bowl will forever be associated with her baby.

      • Same says:

        I felt that as well , one very expensive pregnancy reveal . Then j read on twitter that she looked like an egg surrounded by sperm trying to get to her and I died .

  10. Ginger says:

    It was an OK halftime show but nothing memorable.

  11. Menlisa says:

    Don’t kill me but I thought it was terrible.

  12. Nerd says:

    I loved her Halftime performance. She focused on her music and shared a larger sampling of her music than I expected. She gave us what she normally would give in a concert, which doesn’t contain a lot of dancing because that isn’t who she is. She was clearly enjoying herself and that made it even better for me. She kept it classy, although I’m not offended by her provocative performances of the past because I appreciate how she loves and honors herself and isn’t fazed by other’s opinions of her. The baby bump reveal was on brand for her and the makeup check was what you do when you are a powerful billionaire artist whose money is also because of your lucrative Fenty makeup and clothing business.

    • Jais says:

      I really enjoyed her performance. It felt like Rihanna’s vibe. Like, this is what you came for. Her songs. It’s crazy to hear all her hits. My only complaint was the time bc I hate hearing snippets of songs I like. I wanted to hear more of each song but otherwise I was into it.

      • SomeChick says:

        13 minutes is an incredibly short set!

        I think Prince did it best (in the pouring rain) with Madonna coming in second, and the hip hop extravaganza third. all of the old halftime shows (going back to Up with People and Michael Jackson, also James Brown on a forklift) are on youtube. it’s fun to watch them and make up rankings.

  13. Tulipworthy says:

    Add me in to those who thought it was not a good halftime show. It was boring.

  14. Amy Bee says:

    I enjoyed it and I like that she didn’t have any guest performers.

    • sunny says:

      The “guest” was her baby! I love Riri and she has an amazing catalogue. Overall, her show was very low energy but I cannot fathom how difficult a show like that would be while pregnant.

  15. Loretta says:

    I loved the show, classy and simple

    • Emma says:

      Totally agree, I just really enjoyed listening to Rihanna sing her songs! I don’t know why performances have to be so big now

      • Kate says:

        Agree I loved it! I love her calmer energy and forgot how many great songs she has. She’s never been a dancer and I frankly appreciate that she doesn’t try to be something she’s not.

    • TOM says:

      Her costume was a tribute to her dear late friend André Leon Talley. A beautiful gesture. Rihanna looked great and she sounded great.

      I loved the show, too. There was no way to outdo last year’s Dré Day. So go in the other direction. It worked.

      • CheChe says:

        She stayed true to her signature style and it worked. Classy and elegant never goes out of fashion.

      • CherriePie84 says:

        I loved the show as well, just hit after hit after hit! It was just….Rihanna, no gigantic wind- fans, not guest cameos, no “new” songs, no big excitement and gimmicks. Just Rihanna and her music. She performed some of her hits and it was a manifestation that most of her songs are “timeless” in a way, still enjoyable and still bops that all, or most generations can really enjoy!

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I wish Dre could have had his performance in a dark stadium. It was still sunlight out and it was an open stadium, so you could see the rows of people through his entire show. Rih’s show had much more dramatic lighting.

  16. Beana says:

    It looked to me like she was getting a little winded at times – which would totally make sense! She appeared to do a lot of the singing and she did move a lot. I was actually kind of in awe of her. When I was pregnant I couldn’t have done a fraction of that.

    If it was “boring” then I’d blame that on the stagecraft and choreography. Her dancers were on point but the moves looked a bit repetitive. The platforms were cool but simple.

    But I think Rihanna herself killed it.

  17. CFY says:

    Was it the worst halftime show ever? Not at all. I’ll take RiRi any day over Maroon 5 or Justin Timberlake or that series of white boomers the NFL foisted on us. But was it the best? And memorable and something that made you go, wow we are so blessed, what an age to live in? Also no. I don’t see the point of accepting a platform like the Super Bowl halftime gig and not swinging for the stars, but she’s a billionaire and I am not. I do think this was basically her retirement performance though, so again, why not provide spectacle beyond belly rubbing and semi-committed lip syncing. The levitating platforms were cool.

    • Melissa says:

      Ok, just to be clear. With “that series of white boomers the NFL foisted on us”, you mean the bands that played throughout the 2000s halftime shows? ‘Cause those performances were epic and memorable. To each their own if you’re not into rock music (or white men), but I was curious about your description.

  18. FHMom says:

    It was very low energy, to put it kindly. My sister said before the big reveal that she looked exhausted and speculated
    That she was pregnant. I snapped at her that she just had a baby and to knock it off. Lol I hate when my sister is right

    • Chaine says:

      Lol the speculation distracted from her performance in my house. I was incredulous a was arguing it was just a burrito baby because I felt she just had her first baby like six months ago and her tummy looked so big! But I guess it’s been a little bit longer than that. But still!

      • Margot says:

        Same. My kids (12, 9, 7) were watching and started asking if she was pregnant. I said that we shouldn’t comment on people’s bodies, but I did point out that if this was her postpartum body (I couldn’t remember when she had her first) that it was pretty groundbreaking that she wasn’t bowing to the pressure to go right back to her pre-baby body. Did I handle that correctly??

    • Betcha says:

      Meh. My 17 y.o. and I were underwhelmed. Very.

    • Peanut Butter says:

      I agree the overall effect was very low energy for a Super Bowl performance. I think that type of performance would have been fantastic in a different venue than a much-hyped sporting event. I don’t necessarily think she should have done anything differently herself, but I would have loved to see the choreographer and costumer kick up the physicality of the dancers

  19. Kebbie says:

    I loved it. Simplistic and played the hits. I thought it was refreshing compared to the spectacle of other years. That alone makes it a memorable one.

    I love Rihanna. I love her energy and attitude, and it was such a flex to do something so pared down compared to other years.

    • Maple Plains says:

      Yes, this. I loved it because it didn’t feel frantic like Super Bowl performances usually do to me. She focused on her music and only HER music – no surprise guests. The costumes, dancers, and suspended platforms felt high-impact to me in their simplicity. I enjoyed this half-time show so much more than any I can remember because of that simplicity.

    • Green Desert says:

      Everything you said, @Kebbie and @Maple Plains! Simple and also high-end to me. Also I lol’d at the Fenty plug.

    • Jais says:

      I liked it even more on the rewatch. I loved the end where she’s singing shine bright like a diamond while standing on that clear platform surrounded by all the lights from the stadium. Visually, it was supremely cool. Like she was just hanging in the air surrounded by twinkling lights.

  20. manda says:

    I’m really shocked so many people are hating on this performance. It was amazing! I was so worried about her falling off that platform

    • Erin says:

      I like some one her music, mostly her early stuff because I’m a xennial but don’t pay much attention to her now but I liked the show and I agree with someone else who said they would take her over maroon five or JT any day. I was also nervous at the end when her platform was swaying yikes.

      I will say though that when “All of the lights” came on I got a little scared lol. I also turned to my husband at the start and said, she is pregnant, you don’t dress like that with the belt under your belly and touch you stomach like that if you aren’t. I honestly thought that I had missed a pregnancy announcement since I don’t keep up with her.

      • Inka says:

        Exactly! That’s what I was thinking the whole hour when twitter exploded into pregnancy rumours, that she would simply not have world her tracksuit zipper down and the belt accentuating the belly if she wasn’t! The proof was in the outfit the whole time! I didn’t even get her rubbing her belly the first time around, like right at the start with the zoom out.

    • SomeChick says:

      she was clipped into a safety harness hidden under the big cape coat. you can totally see it. no WAY would she be up there without a safety! the NFL’s insurance would never agree to that.

  21. mellie says:

    Last year was so fun and so many artists collaborated, but this was nice too with just Rihanna….every halftime show brings something different. I personally like Rihanna and have enjoyed her songs over the years, but if you don’t like her music, there wasn’t much here for you.

  22. Lemons says:

    Considering she was pregnant, I’ll give her a pass. I thought her performance was lackluster though her dancers did TRY to bring the energy.

    I don’t think most people realize that these performers (outside of maybe Beyonce) have “performance” tracks and background singers that make it sounds like they are singing live. I could tell some of the words weren’t lining up with her mouth and was disappointed that even with so little movement, she still needed to lipsync. I mean…she could have been a bit cleaner with some of the moves!

    But she is several months along at least, so again, I’m not going to expect her to do that much. It’s just entertainment, and I’m not going to get invested in a 15-minute show.

  23. Megs283 says:

    I honestly feel like that was a BIG WIN for women everywhere. People who are pregnant face so much judgement and friction. She hid her pregnancy from the world, got on a massive platform (literally and figuratively) and showed that she can perform at halftime while visibly pregnant, because she wants to.

    I am very privileged in many ways and I still got so much “well-intentioned” nonsense from strangers and coworkers during my pregnancies. People taking work “off my plate” without my consent. Strangers judging a cup of coffee at Starbucks. People commenting on the size of my belly.

    Personally I feel as though the impact of this surprise announcement cannot be overstated.

    • Yup, Me says:

      Psssh. I’ve been pregnant. Take ALLLLLLLLA my work off my plate. I am entirely fine with that. I’ll be over here doing what I want (which, when I was pregnant with my first, meant eating second lunch).

    • Inka says:

      Totally agree.
      The visibility of it, the way she did it her way, the power! of her walk with the guy dancers baring their bellies at her.
      It was such a visceral statement of immense strength and power in being pregnant, in being woman, in being in her power and doing what she wants to do, how she wants it. Take that people who think women shouldn’t do anything pregnant, shouldn’t lift, shouldn’t do any cardio, shouldn’t be out there. Trailblazer moment for sure.

      • Fabiola says:

        Not sure if you are in the workforce or not but jobs still require pregnant woman to do theirs. Most jobs don’t approve pregnancy leave until the last of of pregnancy. I worked till 2 weeks before giving birth and worked overtime. That’s the problem with this county is working pregnant women too hard so I’m not sure why there are statements saying that pregnant women aren’t expected todo anything. We are expected to do everything.

  24. M says:

    We’re gonna give Rihanna a pass on this boring lip sync show simply because she’s pregnant? Ok then.

    • Lemons says:

      We were giving Rihanna a pass for lackluster performances before she was pregnant or a billionaire, so this is really just a continuation of that.

      • C says:

        This. It’s not new.

      • Naomi says:

        Amen. I think what gets me is all the acrobatics people are doing to convince themselves that her lackluster performance was somehow groundbreaking/iconic/memorable. Like, no, it was just lackluster. She’s giving nothing and everyone’s like “yaaassss!” She’s got good songs but is not a great performer. It is what it is (but so few people want to somehow turn her weakness into signs of her strength).

        Also Rihanna performing pregnant is not groundbreaking for women. Beyonce did it, Cardi B did it. Give me paid maternity leave over Super Bowl baby bump any day.

      • C says:

        Yeah, I remember when Beyonce did the surprise pregnancy announcement at the 2011 MTV Music Video awards after her performance.
        And Beyonce’s 2017 Grammys performance while pregnant is a good example of a performance that’s lower energy than usual but still spectacular.
        This one fell flat even if it was your standard half-time show.

  25. Athena says:

    The NFL should be pissed that she took their money and turned the halftime performance into her baby announcement. Low energy is a good description, no wow moments.

    • Kebbie says:

      Halftime performers aren’t paid

      • Athena says:

        I stand corrected. My daughter informed me that the NFL is happy that a lot of people who normally would not have watched turned in to the game just or see Rihanna. Apparently people were joking on social media, asking if the football players were the opening act.

    • AppleCart says:

      @Athena you honestly think the NFL didn’t know? And the NFL doesn’t pay for performances. There was a time they wanted to charge the performers for all the free exposure. That went over like a lead balloon.

  26. Jay says:

    One thing that I kept thinking about was that while Beyonce, J.Lo and Shakira worked their asses off with elaborate choreo and costume changes, none of these women were allowed to perform solo. Like, they had Beyonce support Coldplay (no, I’m never getting over it).

    So I kind of appreciated Rihanna’s “You’re just lucky I showed up” energy. Why go through all of that trouble? She hasn’t got a new album to promote, she’s got a beauty and lingerie empire and zero to prove.

    • OriginalLeigh says:

      Beyonce performed solo in 2013, unless you count the blink and you missed them appearance by Destiny’s Child which I think was likely her idea.

    • Gah says:

      I feel the same way. This woman is easily 5 months along and she displayed on a huge stage the energy of “I am more than enough. Just me.”

      She did sing live some and her vocals were greats. Her incredible ownership of the spotlight was amazing.

      She didn’t go hard- she was relaxed and confident and had a good time.

      Idk I think sometimes women try to do so much to prove they deserve what they get. Rihanna didn’t feel the need- she let the catalog, her Melodie’s and lyrics and her dancers shine.

      • Isabella says:

        I hope we can support women performers and not describe some as working too hard for approval. It was the Super Bowl. I thought the performance was pleasant but not electrifying. Rihanna can be stunning.

  27. Carrie says:

    Just watched Rihanna. Off to Google Tom Holland’s Umbrella.

    • Turtledove says:

      I can’t hear that song WITHOUT thinking of Tom Holland. I wish she brought him on. That would have been BONKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Inka says:

        Oh yeah totally, I was thinking ‘ok they’re going to bring him in any moment now, where’s the rain…?’ 😄 his performance was so iconic, I can’t listen to Umbrella without actually seeing him do it!

  28. Sass says:

    I am a huge Rihanna fan, I actually catch a fair amount of crap for it. I think she’s wildly talented and isn’t afraid to show the world “I’m a singer, NOT a performer. I’ll get up here and sing.” And that’s what she did. Now, I agree the show was low energy, and I said as much to my husband – it isn’t what we have come to expect from halftime shows. But she’s pregnant!! Getting up on those platforms alone WHILE PREGNANT…no thanks! That was enough for me lol.

    I’m not saying the performance was amazing. It’s was fine. But she was clearly enjoying herself, and considering she is pregnant, I think she more than pushed the boundaries with those platforms.

    • JT says:

      I wouldn’t consider Rihanna a singer necessarily. She has a swagger no doubt, a pretty good voice but she’s no Whitney or Mariah. I even think Demi Lovato has a stronger voice than Rihanna does.

      • Sass says:

        I agree that she might not have the range or the “Broadway blast”, but she is still primarily a singer when it comes to her history. That’s my point.

      • Fabiola says:

        I wouldn’t call Rihanna a singer either. She’s not up there with Mariah, Whitney, christina, or Adele. She has good catchy songs like Britney Spears.

  29. Lucía says:

    Sometimes less is more, you know. I loved her outfit for the show!! For many reasons, but first and foremost because it looked SO. COMFY.

  30. Mireille says:

    Didn’t know she was pregnant. I guess that would explain the low energy feel of her performance. Sorry, but it wasn’t memorable. Wasn’t the worst, wasn’t the best. But it was clean, simplistic and filled with dancing. Nothing controversial, very much family-oriented (and on top of that, the announcement of her second pregnancy…yea!!!). The best part of the show were the dancers. They were great, bringing the energy.

  31. Susan says:

    I saw a twitter/IG comment somewhere and someone said: “It was awfully nice of Sam Smith to loan her his red outfit from last week.” LOL. It did strike me as funny that those two, within a week of each other wore big red outfits in big performances. What are the odds?

    • Rnot says:

      Big red outfits have been everywhere lately. I like it but I imagine it’s going to feel overdone soon.

    • Inka says:

      Also I remembered the performance she gave with A$AP, where she had the short hair and a scarf wrapped around her head, and he danced super close to her and grabbed her butt in front of everyone.
      She wore a really similar shade of total red / scarlet in that, and in this show she used the move, just on herself – I think that was on purpose, too, coming full circle kinda thing 🔴

  32. RarelyKept says:

    Ri is to music what Scarlet Johannsen is to acting. Both minimal but beautiful. memorable in a personalityLess way, but still not cheesy.

  33. C says:

    As much as I don’t care for her support of abusers, Rihanna is a talented musician. But she has absolutely never been the kind of performer Beyonce or JLo are. That’s fine, too. It was an okay show that delivered what it promised but hardly a spectacle.

  34. Coco says:

    Watch it on YouTube it was lack luster. Besides the pregnancy announcement the show is not something you’re going to remember or to talking about for weeks.

  35. pollyv says:

    I’ve always thought she is a lazy performer, gives the bare minimum and we should be happy she graces us with her presence. Last night was no exception. The dancers did all the heavy lifting. She showed her bump, made sure to do a product placement, grabbed her crotch a few times and couldn’t even bother to hide that she wasn’t always singing.

    • ChillinginDC says:

      My best friend last night was like, did she just show us that she put on Fenty? I was kind of embarrassed.

      • Yup, Me says:

        You go right on being embarassed – Rihanna did a product placement during an event where she KNEW there would be millions of eyes and cameras on her. Companies paid millions of dollars to get a 45 second commercial spot during the Super Bowl and she put her own branded product in the middle of her own 13 minute show. It was brilliant.

  36. ChillinginDC says:

    Should have brought out Tom Holland as a special guest. How you not doing Umbrella? Jay-Z and Eminem were busy? What a weird show. The bad lynching is what took me out of the show.

    The commercials were odd too.

    • AppleCart says:

      *cringe* that is one unfortunate typo you got there.

    • ChillinginDC says:

      Yeah I tried to edit and it won’t let me. I typed lip synching like three times. The typing is really bad today on here. It’s very very slow/delayed. Sorry about that all.

    • Imara219 says:

      I agree that it would have popped so much if Jay or Enemim had come out with her. It would have given energy.

    • Fabiola says:

      I was really disappointed at the commercials too. I’m not a chiefs or eagles fan so I was just excited to see Rihanna and the commercials but they all sucked too.

  37. Pope Archibald says:

    I love love loved this performance! Low energy? That was swagger, baby! Full swagger because she has the goods to back it up. Keeping her music and her most genuine essence front and center was a revelation from so many pop stars that substitute flash for musicality. I loved the confidence in whats she wore, the energy she brought, and how the dancers were like an extension of her. The way she looked out soaking it up at the end with the gentlest of gazes. I teared up. I’ve watched it three times today already! I feel sad for those who weren’t feeling it. Ya’ll missed out on something really cool!

    • Coco says:

      Why would you feel sad we didn’t miss out on anything. You are clearly a super fan and if you experienced a great performance from that then good for you.

      “So many pop stars that substitute flash for musicality” ??????

    • Grant says:

      Lol, substituting flash for musicality is kind of Rihanna’s thing IMO. She’s never been a dancer, or a vocalist either, really. She serves lewks and releases bops with passable vocals. Kind of like Taylor Swift without the songwriting skills — although I would argue that Rihanna has a marginally better voice than T. Swift.

  38. Smart&Messy says:

    It was like playing a meddley on spotify. There was nothing to see. In the trailer and interview she promised showing her caribbean and bajan roots. She did not. I know that her music doesn’t really lend itsself to that, like j.lo’s songs. But it was really so sterile. You could have put any artist or boy band in those potato sacs and press play.

  39. Green Desert says:

    I loved it, totally her vibe. The arrangement of songs was great – we forget how many hits she’s had, at only 34. I wouldn’t call it low energy – it’s a combo of her vibe and clearly being pregnant. Also, the songs are always the draw with Rhianna. I loved the staging – minimalist and striking. I need to watch it again but I loved when the dancers at one point (who I assumed were all male- my bad) lifted up their jackets!!

    • Inka says:

      Dude, the dancers. The guy that bared his belly at her! The walk against them, them flowing white before her power strut! They really had some awesome moments in there, I laughed at one point. Loved their energy, they were great and so playful!

  40. DiegoInSF says:

    Yawn, her depp loving, anti Asian self is such a yawn. I really hope we get another Latin artist next year, bring more diversity!

    • OriginalLeigh says:

      I’m confused. How does a Black woman from the Caribbean not count as “diverse?” (I agree on the Depp comment. I haven’t heard about the anti-Asian stuff and didn’t find anything when I googled?)

      • C says:

        They are referring to the taunts Rihanna and her friend made about Karreuche Tran being a “rice cake” and Rihanna doing the “Asian eye” thing while talking about her, like a decade ago. Some members of the AAPI community objected to her participating in a Stop Asian Hate march in 2021 considering her “rice cake” post is still up on her page etc.

    • DiegoInSF says:

      Diversity is not only black, last year and the year before it was the same. Y los latinos, asians?

      • OriginalLeigh says:

        @ C – I didn’t know that she posted those things. That was really gross of her. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to that particular love triangle because I found it sad that they were actually fighting over Chris Brown.

        @ Diego – I glanced over the performers list for the past 10 years. There has actually been a significant amount of diversity but I agree that there should be more. Asian performers in particular have been the least represented and I hope that gets addressed in the near future. (It seems a little weird that you are advocating for diversity but complaining about seeing Black performers for two whole years in a row but I know we all view the world differently…)

  41. AmelieOriginal says:

    It was okay, not incredible. I think everyone’s watch party discussed if she was pregnant or not lol. I was under the impression she had given birth 3 months ago because my friend thought she had heard it on the radio but when we looked it up we realized she had given birth last year. I give Rihanna full props performing most of her set on a raised platform high above the field and doing that while pregnant. I’m afraid of heights so I was scared for her. Also props to her dancers who also danced on those platforms!!! I know they were all attached but those platforms wobbled a bit! It made sense Rihanna didn’t move too much given her pregnancy and the platform. She didn’t seem to sing that much either. It won’t go down as a memorable performance, it was just fine. And it won’t be one I seek out to watch on Youtube like Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Shakira and J. Lo, Lady Gaga, Madonna etc.

  42. MsIam says:

    I thought it was pretty good. Much better than the Coldplay “show” which was…man. Even with Beyonce and Bruno. And congrats on the pregnancy Rihanna!

  43. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    It was meh.

  44. Snappyfish says:

    I liked it. She looked great, I loved the nod to Andre Leon Talley (whose stuff goes up for auction at Christie’s on Wednesday, excited!!) it was refreshing to hear good songs without all the crap (the weekend, anyone?)

    Loved the little Fenty ad in the middle. She is a Queen.. I bow down

  45. Loved it ✨😻✨

  46. Elo says:

    It was rather boring. And honestly with all the great music she’s made, I thought it was lame that she chose two pieces of music that she just guested on (Kanye and JayZ).

  47. Ohmeohmy says:

    Dang i feel like I’m the only one who loved it lol and I was not expecting myself to care. Her dancers were amazing

  48. Rhianna says:

    I found this very moving. Seeing a pregnant woman say “look at me, I’m enough, I don’t need guest stars, I don’t need to be a size two to be sexy and crush it. As a mom who had a boy the same month as her, I found it surprisingly moving.

  49. Jo says:

    This made me realize a few things:
    I basically only like Rihanna’s last album but that one I love.
    Men aren’t asked to put up a show like women do as much as I can tell (I am not American), as in dance their buts off and do a million dress changes while singing and dancing a relentless choreography
    Good for Rihanna, therefore, to sing her songs and promote a normal relation to women’s bodies rather than this obsession with fitness / slimness / crazy performance.
    Celebrity pop stars are not about the singing but about the show they can put on, the bodies they have, and the way they build a persona.
    Glad Rihanna can be a pop star in her own terms. And I am so happy to see a 5 months pregnant woman doing what she can, looking healthy and glowing, singing her greatest hits, in her own style.

    • R says:

      Hard agree on this. I thought the songs were nice flowing and all super catchy to the ear.

    • Grant says:

      You’re spot-on when comparing the expectations between male and female-led halftime shows. Just compare Justin Timberlake’s with Beyonce or J.Lo/Shakira’s.

  50. Case says:

    I really enjoyed it. Definitely not nearly as bad as some recent ones have been (looking at you Maroon 5). It wasn’t particularly high energy, but she has a ton of hits and I liked the stage and camera work. I thought it was a solid mid-tier Super Bowl performance.

  51. Amando says:

    I thought the stage set up and backup dancers were amazing, but it wasn’t a memorable performance. She lip synced most, if not all, of it – which doesn’t surprise me, because she is not a good live singer. Still, she has a huge catalog of hits and I think she transitioned into each song very well. For me, it would be hard to top Dr Dre and Snoop last year. That was amazing.

  52. Steph says:

    She pulled a me! I got pregnant and had an abortion. I was pregnant again less than two weeks later. Like, my body didn’t skip a beat. Congratulations to her!

  53. crazyoldlady says:

    RiRi is always great to see – she is so wealthy that she does not need to take these things on. So it’s nice to see her. For me, it was not a super exciting show, but she is paying to put it on and perform, so I think we should all be grateful that she was willing to do the work. Also – Super Bowl – not paying anything to half-time artists – is gross.

  54. L4Frimaire says:

    I liked the performance and hearing all of her hits. It was good, but definitely way more low key than a lot of past performances. I wasn’t sure at first if she just had a bit of a tummy but that definitely was a baby bump, That floating platform was very cool, a bit vertigo inducing. I checked the Fenty Beauty callout as well , kinda funny, blatant promo. Anyway, was a very solid, enjoyable performance, can’t believe she’s pregnant again and her baby isn’t elven a year old yet. Crazy but good for her. I guess new music isn’t a priority right now, lol.

  55. R says:

    I thought the show was so underwhelming. And the white and red, no other colors…visually it was sterile. Cold. She seemed bored and was phoning it in. As usual. I was reminded she doesn’t write literally any of her songs. She had so many opportunities to bring on a special guest…I know Drake would’ve been so unlikely but can you imagine that for Work? Or Jay Z for run this town? Or Eminem for Love the Way you Lie? Just anything to bring the energy up. After this, there being no ethical billionaires, and the Johnny Depp thing, I’m so over her. She’s not so special anymore. Also, remember when she said she’d NEVER be a sellout and do the super bowl? ha. guess the money looked too good.

    • Well Wisher says:

      Maybe, just maybe Rihanna identified with Johnny Deep as being at one time victimized by domestic violence.

      • C says:

        Domestic violence workers have spoken up about the Depp victory ultimately harming the dialogue of domestic violence in general and creating fewer safe spaces for victims to come forward. Depp experienced reactive abuse from a person he has systematically since tried to control, impoverish, disgrace, and threaten. The right-wing campaign to illustrate Depp as the victim was cheered on by as far up as the GOP judiciary (which tweeted in support of him when the verdict was announced).

        Rihanna can feel however she wants in private, but to pull Depp into one of her shows when financially he’s not even afloat or an attraction in any way anymore is a statement. As was her R Kelly shirt.

      • Coco says:

        @ Well Wisher

        Stop just stop making excuses really what is you excuse for her support of R Kelly?

    • Tiffany :) says:

      ” remember when she said she’d NEVER be a sellout and do the super bowl? ha. guess the money looked too good.”

      I kind of wondered if this was why she opened with B*tch Better Have My Money. To say that it was all about the money.

  56. Well Wisher says:

    Rihanna’s show was just her. She did it for the art, the challenge and because Jay-Z asked her.

    When she signed with him, he let her keep her master tapes.
    That was unheard of, in some cases loyalty begets loyalty.
    Another thing Jay-Z lets the artist do their thing.

    No back stage management from him.

    I loved every minute of it, she did hits from an accumulation of 17 years.

    Her business deals, having paid dividends had allowed her to live as she chooses, to sing for the love of it.

    Having to sing with help from her diaphragm is more difficult because of her pregnancy.
    The fetus would have in the same place, hence less movement.

    She chose to sing, rather than dance.

    Rihanna rose to her self imposed challenge, made it hers.

    It reminded me of the Weeknd’s performance.

  57. shanaynay says:

    In my opinion she was awesome! I really enjoyed her show. Not quite understanding what sounds like ‘hate’ to me for performance. If you didn’t like it, you could have just turned it off. Please remember she isn’t Beyonce. She’s Rihanna.

  58. Lionel says:

    Yeah. I don’t mind that she didn’t dance much, generally I think live vocals are better when the performer isn’t working out on stage. But I minded that she looked exhausted and was so obviously lip-syncing. (I know everyone lip-syncs during performances like that, but I appreciate when they at least try to hide it.) OF COURSE I cut her a lot of slack because she’s pregnant, and OF COURSE I applaud her for forging ahead despite that, but before I realized she was pregnant I thought she was pharmacologically sedated.

    The floating stages were cool and I bet they looked incredible from the stadium seats.

  59. JRenee says:

    I enjoyed it. I think she was true to herself, show cased her catalog and brand and looked beautiful to boot.

  60. Ann says:

    I loved it! I was surprised she could move the way she did on those moving platforms! The dancers were so amazing. She looked like she was having an amazing time and that radiated from her. Awesome vibes all around.

  61. lucy2 says:

    It was fine – good mix of songs, not as much of a spectacle as we usually see. I liked the floating platforms. I wasn’t paying super close attention and didn’t realize she was pregnant until later, but did think it was a bit low energy, but it was fine. Not everyone needs to explode fireworks out of their bra, you know?

  62. Bambinaa says:

    The acrobatics people are doing is hilarious. She’s a manufactured artist with a good business sense. Pregnancy or no Pregnancy she was never a singer, performer or dancer. Have at least one.
    Her performance was terrible. There are more talented artists who deserved the platform. She wasn’t a good pick from the get go.

  63. Sue says:

    Having been pregnant not too long ago, I remember how tired I was. So tired. So many naps. Human sitting on my bladder and five alarm heartburn. Thankfully never had morning sickness but maybe she still has it. Good for her for performing at one of the biggest entertainment spectacles of the year with all of that going on. Her songs are fun and happy. She looked so content. I loved how many dancers there were. People just hate the halftime show every damn year. No one is ever going to top Prince. Let’s all just agree on that.

  64. Meghan says:

    I enjoy Rihanna’s music and while I am not a super massive fan, I enjoyed her halftime performance. It seemed very “RiRi” to me. “I’m gracing yall with my presence and if you don’t like it, suck it I’m Rihanna.”

    I did think about Shakira and JLo’s performance and how, to me, JLo seemed to be focusing on being perfect while Shakira was just having a blast.

  65. HeatherC says:

    It was fine. If you’re a fan of her/her music you loved it. If she’s not normally on your radar, you’re probably underwhelmed.

    When I think of Super Bowl halftime shows, Prince’s year is the year to beat and no one has (in my mind) yet.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Metallica though, before it’s too late.

  66. Lady Luna says:

    I actually enjoyed her performance very much! I don’t need an over the top performance when it comes to good music.

  67. TM24 says:

    I am baffled by people’s comment. The show was absolutely amazing. She sounded awesome! Great transitions from one song to another, build up was just right, She looked like she was enjoying herself. The dancers were incredible, in sync, clean, crisp performance . I got choked u0 watching her. Pregnant, glowing, happy, confident! Thinking how far she has come considering where her life started. I don’t think many of you understand. She represented Barbados to the utmost.

    • Coco says:

      What does she being from Barbados have to do with whether or not people thought it was a great show?

      I’m Barbadian and didn’t think the show was great. You like the show fine, but stop trying to push your feelings about it onto other people.

  68. Jenepooh says:

    The fact that this wasn’t a paid gig (Rihanna actually paid for the halftime production) she can do whatever she wants! That’s why Taylor Swift turned it down.

  69. Julia K says:

    The choreography was fun and the dancers so energetic! Nice firework display as well.

  70. Mads says:

    I thought she looked beautiful, I was rly into her lipstick even before I found out it was her product. However I did feel like it was someone of a meh show. Dr Dre and shakira’s were better imo. I do get she’s pregnant but if you even watch her 2011 all star halftime game performance it was much more lively and fun (drake and Kanye were also part of it btw) but did like her show better than say boring ass Katy Perry’s 😅

  71. Grey says:

    I’ve seen her live and she isn’t a wild performer, so it’s fun to see her own a stage and still be herself!

  72. Heather says:

    it sucked, boring and lack luster. Black woman being woke and boring, bring back Beyonce next time.

  73. kira says:

    it was boring, and i had anxiety watching her on those platforms knowing she was pregnant, I don’t know anything at all about this singer so when I seen her I knew she was pregnant or fat. So in my head she was pregnant on these platforms…. goodjob mom