While this year’s Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles featured many highlight-worthy moments, the most dominant performance arguably came during halftime.
Taking the stage again after five years, Rihanna served viewers a powerful reminder of her extensively successful setlist and unwavering vocal abilities during her halftime performance.
Presenting a number of hits ranging from “Umbrella” and “Where Have You Been” to iconic collaborations like “Wild Thoughts” and “All of the Lights,” she gave fans a much-anticipated taste of her unforgettable anthems that have consistently dominated the charts. The fact that even fan-favorites like “Disturbia” and “This is What You Came For” didn’t make the show is a true testament to the overabundance of hits Rihanna has provided fans over the course of her career.
Even more impressive than her vocals, though, was Rihanna’s gravity-defying performance upon floating stages that, at times, hovered almost 60 feet above the field. Accompanied by the Royal Family Dance Crew under the direction of New Zealand choreographer Parris Goebel, the performance left tense football fans and Rihanna fanatics alike on their feet and wishing for more.
Dressed in all white and slightly resembling marshmallows, the dancers amazed viewers with their perfectly robotic, oftentimes unbelievably synchronized movements. Other than flawlessly accenting Rihanna’s powerful presence, the dancers accurately embodied what many fans think they look like dancing in their living rooms to “Work” and “Rude Boy.”
Traditionally, halftime performers include at least one guest performer to accompany them, which, much to many people’s surprise, Rihanna decided against. However, while this may have added to the show’s ratings, she clearly needed no support in filling the 13 minute show with nonstop action and back-to-back hits.
I’d also contend that there was no need for a guest performer, as the performance doubled as arguably the most iconic pregnancy reveal ever. Showing off her pregnancy in a powerful all-red outfit, Rihanna left viewers in shock, wondering how to politely bring up the big question on everyone’s mind.
Despite fans’ initial disappointment that Rihanna’s announcement didn’t include new music, it is clear that her performance at Super Bowl LVII will go down in halftime show history. Her ability to simultaneously belt out difficult songs like “Diamonds” and hover 60 feet in the air on a moving platform — all while pregnant — is a clear indication of her strength and a true inspiration for viewers around the world.