Please Don’t Stop The Music

Della Steif, Print Team Leader

   On Sunday February 12th, Rihanna performed the halftime show at the Superbowl. This performance was her first live performance since 2019, which means viewing peaked during Rihanna’s performance, which averaged 118.7 million viewers. She had taken time off in 2019  to focus on her makeup career with her brand Fenty Beauty. 

  The singer says in an interview with CBS that the reason she is performing after formally being so against it was for her son, and representation.

    “When I first got the call to do it again this year, I was like ‘You sure? Like, I’m three months postpartum, should I be making major decisions like this right now? Like, I might regret this.’ When you become a mom, there’s something that just happens where you feel like you can take on the world, you can do anything and the Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world, so as scary as that was because I haven’t been on stage in seven years, there’s something exhilarating about the challenge of it all. It’s important for me to do this this year. It’s important for representation. It’s important for my son to see that.”

    Although the artist put on an amazing performance, the artists who perform for the halftime show do not get paid directly from the NFL. They get paid on something called the union scale, though the NFL does pay for the production of the show, meaning they pay for all the equipment needed and sound. 

   Before the time of her performance there was rumor that she would bring on a special guest. The viewers however got much more than just a special guest when the singer came out in a body tight outfit, revealing that the singer was in fact pregnant. While there was some speculation about if she was pregnant or just coming off of having her first child, it was confirmed later that night that she was in fact pregnant. 

   In an interview with Apple Music Rihanna confirmed that the hardest part of performing at the superbowl was the setlist. 

   “That was the hardest, hardest part — deciding how to maximize 13 minutes but also celebrate. You’re trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes, so it’s difficult. Some songs we have to lose because of that, and that’s going to be OK, but I think we did a pretty good job of narrowing it down.”

   Overall the performance and set list was amazing given the circumstances, she had not performed in many years and was pregnant, it is unfair to hold her to the same standards as the halftime shows last year and the year before that.