Girl power: Rihanna shines in Super Bowl halftime show

The Concordia Courier


By Casey Hulme | 2/24/2023

Though the Super Bowl is known for showcasing the biggest football match of the season, the question is: Are you more excited for the game or the halftime performance? For the general public, the excitement of the Super Bowl definitely seemed to be geared more towards watching Rihanna perform than watching Patrick Mahomes win another ring. 

This year’s Super Bowl, which took place on Sun., Feb. 12, was highly anticipated, mainly for the promise of a killer performance by Rihanna. Though the football game had a lot of excitement surrounding the showdown between the Kelce brothers and a possible underdog win by the Eagles, Rihanna hasn’t dropped an album in seven years or performed since she gave birth to her son last May. 

Leading up to the Sunday performance, Rihanna spoke to reporters at a press conference with Apple Music. She was feeling nervous about her agreement to do the huge show, saying, “As scary as that was ... there’s something exhilarating about the challenge of it all, and it’s important for me to do this this year. It’s important for representation. It’s important for my son to see that.”

From start to finish, Rihanna kept her performance pretty simple compared to other halftime shows. She had a huge group of dancers surrounding her that definitely added to the performance, but didn’t take away from her shine. She also revealed that she was pregnant with her second child during the performance, so it made sense that she wasn’t doing any crazy stunts. 

In this writer’s opinion, I thought the simplicity of her choreography worked well in the show because her singing became the main focus. I also think she did a great job of choosing some of her most popular songs that could be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

It was a 13-minute-long dance party that ended in explosive fireworks. 

Online reviews from the public and news outlets seemed to be generally positive, with NBC Sports actually ranking her fifth best halftime performance ever, trailing behind artists like Prince and Michael Jackson. Rolling Stone said, “The night belonged to Rihanna. And unlike the game, her halftime show had a satisfying climactic conclusion. At the end of ‘Diamonds,’ she gazed around the stadium with a look of satisfaction, a conqueror surveying all the fireworks exploding in the sky. But you can see Rihanna knew it: She was the fireworks. All hail our new Super Bowl queen.” 

Rihanna is one of the few powerful female artists who have been the sole headliner at the Super Bowl halftime show. Among that list are names including Diana Ross, Madonna, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. 

Overall, I think her performance was extremely enjoyable to watch, but honestly a little forgettable. I feel like to be remembered as one of the better halftime shows, you have to do something a little crazy or outside the box and she – understandably – played it more on the safe side. It was still a great concert, and to be doing it while pregnant is inspiring. 



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