Pop and R&B superstar Rihanna made a grand return to the stage on Sunday, floating high above the Super Bowl field, dazzling the crowd with a fast-paced medley of her hits and revealing that she is pregnant with her second child — all while wearing a custom-made puffed coat by Alaia, the luxury label founded by late Tunisian couturier Azzedine Alaia.
Rihanna opened arguably the biggest showcase in music by singing “B**** Better Have My Money” as she stood, with a noticeably rounded belly, on a platform suspended in the air. She was gradually lowered to the ground as she went through well-known songs from “Only Girl (In the World)” to “Rude Boy” and “Work,” Reuters reported. Rihanna was surrounded throughout the 13-minute performance by dozens of dancers in baggy white outfits. It was the 34-year-old Grammy winner's first stage performance in five years. Her last album, “Anti,” was released in 2016.
During the performance, the Barbadian superstar showed off a custom coat by Alaia — which is now headed by creative director Pieter Mulier — a hot red Loewe jumpsuit, vintage brooches from Joseph Saidian & Sons, earrings by French luxury brand Messika, a Jacob & Co watch, and MM6 Maison Margiela x Salomon sneakers. Rihanna's appearance led social media users to speculate she was expecting another child. A representative for the singer confirmed after the show that Rihanna was indeed pregnant. The singer gave birth to her first child, a boy, with rapper A$AP Rocky in May 2022. Rocky was spotted in the stadium crowd cheering on his girlfriend's performance.
Rihanna concluded her Super Bowl set with “Diamonds” as fireworks lit up the sky around the stadium.
Rihanna joined a list of music luminaries who have performed at the Super Bowl, from Lady Gaga to Beyonce, Prince, Madonna and the Rolling Stones. The telecast usually draws around 100 million viewers in the United States alone.
In the pre-game ceremony, country star Chris Stapleton sang the US national anthem while Oscar-winning “CODA” star Troy Kotsur performed the song in American Sign Language.
Emmy-winning “Abbott Elementary” star Sheryl Lee Ralph sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a hymn that has become known as the Black national anthem, accompanied by a choir.