Rihanna stuns world with Super Bowl stage comeback

By Jack Dyson, Daina Allimadi and Michael Abiola-Leigh

Rihanna shocked the world on Sunday, February the 12th, and we are still shocked by her comeback performance which left us all with our jaws on the floor.

Being such an iconic symbol that she is you can imagine many people tuned in to watch the performance of a lifetime.  

Rihanna’s 2023 Superbowl performance drew an average of 118.7 million viewers according to Fox Sports across all its platforms, which made it Fox’s second-most watched halftime show on record, with only Katy Perry’s 2015 performance being able to top it with 121 million people tuning in to watch the performance.  

Rihanna performed at the Super Bowl (Image by Melanie from Pixabay)

Forbes reports this was a 15% increase from the 103.4 million average audience for the 2022 halftime show which featured Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 cent, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J Blige. This highlights Rihanna’s cultural impact as she alone was able to generate 15% more viewership than 6 people. 

According to Statista, almost 68,000 people attended the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, to watch the American Football match and were there to witness the halftime show in person.

This was the fourth year in a row that the viewership for the half-time show was higher than that of the actual game which had 113 million viewers in the United States and saw the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35. That suggests for the past four years viewers have been more interested in the half-time shows than the actual matches 

The ‘Diamonds in the sky’ singer was elevated a whopping 60ft in the sky. Rihanna’s set design was reminiscent of the landscape of the hit Nintendo game Super Smash Bros. So, as you can imagine ‘internet’ had to immediately edit this.

She had also donned an iconic red puffer jacket which contrasted the rest of the performers patented in all white outfits, paying a massive homage to the famous fashion icon Andre Leon Talley as he favoured an infamous red Norma Kamali blanket jacket that he wore several times throughout his career.

The most iconic song within the setlist was without a doubt ‘Bitch better have my money’ as it sparked the ignition of Rihanna’s comeback to the music industry being a very empowering and influential single.

The song performance also had some of the limelight taken away by the sign language interpreter as she was shown really getting into the song and interpreting it in the most creative and entertaining way 

This inspirational moment had its fair share of praise and criticism from celebrities, the public and critics. Many were enthralled by the performance, even people working as part of it such as the Asl interpreter showing her passion and joy for Rihanna giving a stellar performance herself that kept viewers just as entertained as Riri did.  

Despite Rihanna performing for the first time since the Grammy’s with DJ Khaled on their collaboration, ‘Wild Thoughts’ in 2018, she received several critical comments on her Super Bowl performance:

Others, such as former basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, defended the Bajan pop star, saying she did a wonderful job.

Love her or hate she assuredly sparked a global conversation and made it straight into newspapers and websites across the planet. Even almost a fortnight later she is still as present in the news. How could she not? It’s Rihanna. 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: