(Updated 11:55 a.m.) Pop and R&B superstar Rihanna made a grand return to the stage on Sunday, floatinghigh above the Super Bowl field, thrilling the crowd with a fast-paced medley of her hitsand revealing that she is pregnant with her second child.
Dressed in a hot pink jumpsuit and baggy coat, Rihanna opened the biggest showcase in music by singing “Bitch 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.”
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.
Rihanna’s appearance led social media users to speculate she was expecting another child. The Hollywood Reporter and other media outlets said a representative for the singer confirmed that Rihanna was indeed pregnant.
The singer gave birth to her first child, a boy, with rapper A$AP Rocky in May 2022.
She 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 U.S. 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.
—Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Christian Schmollinger