All hail the Only Bad Gal™ in the world
So, Rihanna’s Halftime performance. How are we doing?
It’s been over 24 hours since Riri did her explosive Halftime Show for the coveted Super Bowl LVII at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. So despite many of us not really paying attention to the NFL and American football, we all knew that the performance could only be historic. Dance legend Parris Goebel, who was behind The Royal Family Dance Crew, JLo’s own Halftime performance in 2020 and—how can we forget—all three Savage X Fenty shows joins as the choreographer. That recipe screams one for the books, and boy, did Rihanna deliver. She did all this while risers suspended her 15 to 60 feet into the air.
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Last year’s performance had headliners Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar. Heavyweights in their own right, I’m not going to lie. But can they compare to Rihanna’s first solo stage in seven long years? As a loyal member of the Navy, I would have to respectfully say no. Best believe we’ve been waiting for this since the moment she posted a photo of that football on Instagram, and the wait has been nothing but worth it.
In 14 minutes, Rihanna announced her second pregnancy, performed a comprehensive set of 12 hits from the past years and never missed a note or beat. You can see her a mile away thanks to her red flight suit and breastplate by Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson. Her dancers were swathed in Savage X Fenty, made up in Fenty Beauty and had touches of Fenty Skin for the extra glitter. Of course, she didn’t even miss the opportunity to plug her favorite setting powder mid-performance. Riri and her businesses carried the performance quite literally, and we love seeing it happen again and again.
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In the seven years since ANTI, Rihanna grew Fenty into the behemoth that it is, gave birth to her firstborn with ASAP Rocky, touched base with some musical projects and was hailed a national hero by Barbados. Always present and forever the best dressed on the red carpets and fashion shows she attended, Rihanna never really shied away from the spotlight. But it was evident that her music had to take the back seat. Yet, years later, she still manages to command the stage and demand attention, whether it’s her only hook for Run This Town or finally nailing the high humming note for Work.
Music was the first introduction many of us had to Rihanna, whether it’s Pon de Replay’s refreshing breath of dancehall air or our number one karaoke song Umbrella. So I’ve stopped begging Rihanna (and the universe) for a new album. Not because I’ve grown tired of waiting but because, if there’s one thing that this performance showed me, her massive discography still hits like the first time. And that’s enough to tide me over while Mother Rihanna takes her sweet, sweet time.
But hey, Ri, if ever you change your mind. We’re still here.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver