What Do Critics Think of Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show?

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Rihanna superbowl halftime show 2023 pregnant

Rihanna performed at the Super Bowl Halftime Show at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on February 12 — her first live performance in over seven years.

Rihanna, who gave birth to her first child with rapper A$AP Rocky in May 2022, also revealed that she was pregnant with her second child during her long-awaited musical comeback.

Rihanna follows last year’s Superbowl Show, which featured Eminem alongside Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Anderson .Paak, and Kendrick Lamar.


What were the critic’s opinions on Rihanna’s Super Bowl show?

  • “Rihanna hasn’t released an album since “Anti” in 2016, and many in her fervent fan base took her willingness to perform at the Super Bowl this year as a sign that her return to music might be imminent. Perhaps she would announce a new single or album, or maybe a tour. Instead, she used one of pop music’s biggest stages to assert that despite all of that collective anticipation, she had other things to focus on: a private life to return to. So if her actual onstage delivery had been slightly weary, well, there were more important things to focus on.” — The New York Times

  • “Her halftime show capitalized on her reputation as being unbothered and effortlessly cool — no musical guest, barely any choreography, no stress or strenuousness… But it’s not necessarily the energy one expects from a Super Bowl performance, where performers such as The Weeknd in 2021, or Jennifer Lopez and Shakira in 2020, meet the pressure of the spotlight with intense, clear perfectionism.” — The Guardian

  • “Rihanna sang to roughly 100 million members of the human race near the start of her Super Bowl halftime performance on Sunday night — and somehow, she got exactly what she asked for: civilization’s undivided attention for 13 minutes while she made her streamlined expertise look, sound and feel like total nonchalance.” – The Washington Post

  • “Rihanna stalked the various levitating stages in a red jumpsuit, with a red plastic bra and baby bump visible underneath. The message was clear: motherhood and sex symbol status are very much compatible.” — The Times of London

  • “It was a show that only someone like Rihanna —who has too many chart-topping songs to count on two hands — could achieve. And that’s because, like Rihanna, it was far more chill compared to the unforgettable half-time shows of the recent past.” — The Daily Beast

  • “It was a fan-satisfying performance that was nonetheless low on surprises, except for one — and yet again, Rihanna has the world talking while not giving much away.” — Variety

What’s next?: During her Super Bowl Halftime show, Rihanna did some product placement and pulled out a Fenty Beauty compact. While the singer’s musical comeback looks less certain, it seems like she will be continuing to focus on her Fenty Beauty empire — the cosmetics brand that made her a billionaire.

Image credits: Header photo sourced via YouTube/NFL.