DUBAI: Pop and R&B superstar Rihanna made a big return to the stage on Sunday, soaring high above the Super Bowl field, dazzling the crowd with a fast-paced medley of her hits and revealing she’s pregnant with her second child — while wearing a custom-made puff coat from Alaia, the luxury label founded by the late Tunisian couturier Azzedine Alaia.
Rihanna opened what is arguably the biggest showcase of music by singing “B**** Better Have My Money” while standing on a platform floating in the air with a noticeably round belly. She was gradually lowered to the ground as she played through well-known songs from “Only Girl (In the World)” to “Rude Boy” and “Work,” Reuters reported.
Rihanna was surrounded by dozens of dancers in wide white outfits during the 13-minute performance.
It was the 34-year-old Grammy winner’s first stage appearance in five years. Their last album “Anti” was released in 2016.
During the performance, the Barbadian superstar showed off a tailor-made coat by Alaia – now led by creative director Pieter Mulier – a bright red Loewe jumpsuit, vintage brooches by Joseph Saidian & Sons, earrings by French luxury brand Messika, a Jacob & Co watch and MM6 Maison Margiela x Salomon sneakers.
Rihanna’s appearance prompted social media users to speculate that she was expecting another child. A representative of 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 seen in the crowd inside the stadium cheering on his girlfriend’s performance.
Rihanna ended her Super Bowl set with “Diamonds” as fireworks lit up the sky around the stadium.
Rihanna joins a list of music luminaries who have performed at the Super Bowl, from Lady Gaga to Beyonce, Prince, Madonna, and the Rolling Stones. The show usually attracts around 100 million viewers in the United States alone. At the pre-match ceremony, country star Chris Stapleton sang the US national anthem, while Oscar-winning “CODA” star Troy Kostur performed the song in American Sign Language.
Emmy-winning “Abbott Elementary” star Sheryl Lee Ralph sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” an anthem that has become known as the black national anthem, accompanied by a chorus.