Rihanna’s stunning halftime show makes waves after Super Bowl



Rihanna performs during the halftime show at the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The biggest hit from February 12th’s Super Bowl game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles didn’t come from either team, but from Rihanna during her epic halftime show performance.

Rihanna’s halftime show had a viewer count of 118.7 million people, which was higher than the Super Bowl itself. This number now stands as the second most-watched Super Bowl Halftime Show of all time, only trailing Katy Perry’s performance in 2015, according to Fortune.

In her career, Rihanna has accumulated numerous accolades. They include nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, the American Music Icon Award, 12 Billboard Music Awards, six Guinness World Records, the NAACP’s President Award, an Academy Award nomination and being recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2012 and 2018, according to CBS Sports

This is not just an exhaustive list. It represents her popularity and influence as an artist as well.

Rihanna stole the show on Sunday, wearing an eye-popping all-red outfit and delivering multiple popular songs from her years of performances. Specifically, she wore a bright red Alaïa puffer coat with a red Loewe jumpsuit and glossy bustier underneath. Her shoes were a pair of Maison Margiela x Salomon sneakers, according to Rolling Stone. For the show itself, Rihanna sang many of her classics, including “Where Have You Been,” “We Found Love,” “Rude Boy,” “Umbrella” and “Diamonds.”

To DePaul students, her halftime show was both impressive and simple. It was a big hit with senior Cam Cruse.

“I thought it was one of the best halftime performances I’ve seen in a while,” Cruse said. “I liked it way more than I enjoyed The Weeknd’s halftime performance [in 2021]. I enjoyed the simplicity of it, as simple as a halftime show can be, but it was simple enough.”

Cruse compared the halftime show to a concert with how much attention the performance gave to Rihanna. 

“I really enjoyed how she was the center of it all,” Cruse said. “She had the bright outfit and was always in the middle of all the dancers and there was no super crazy set or anything, it was just like a Rihanna concert. It wasn’t some grand show or anything.”

While Rihanna’s performance was nice and simple for some students, it certainly was nostalgic for others, like DePaul sophomore Ethan Baca.

“Rihanna has actually been one of my favorite artists ever since childhood, so it was quite a joy to hear some of those classics from about a decade ago come back,” Baca said. “I thought it was interesting that she started with ‘B— Better Have My Money.’ I would’ve thought she would’ve went with a more hyped song to start, not that [‘B— Better Have My Money’] is a bad song or anything, but it was just pretty surprising compared to the kickoff songs of years past.”

Despite the surprising order of the songs, Baca still enjoyed the performance and choreography within it while waiting for the game to resume.

“I just loved her whole performance,” he said. “There wasn’t any song that was a letdown for me, so that was really good. The way the choreography was presented was both simplistic and grand at the same time. The backup dancers coming in for ‘All of the Lights’ was a pretty cool moment, but I never once felt that Rihanna wasn’t the primary focus and that was awesome compared to past years, so I enjoyed it quite a lot.”

The song list allowed students like DePaul senior Dace Potas to watch the show for his favorite tunes.

“My favorite Rihanna song is ‘Umbrella,’ so she started singing that and it was definitely my favorite bit,” Potas said. “I’m disappointed she didn’t bring out Jay-Z for that, but I’ll take what I can get. I’d say that was my favorite part, I didn’t really dislike anything. It was pretty good all-around.”

One other aspect of Rihanna’s performance that caused quite a stir was her potential pregnancy, which her representative later confirmed.

“I thought it was a very interesting performance, and it was really cool to see her whole pregnancy reveal at the end,” Potas said. “It was a cool way to incorporate that into her set without really trying to hide it.”

Rihanna’s halftime show had fans in a buzz and tuning in to see the star’s rare televised performance. The halftime show may just be a part of the Super Bowl for some, but for others, it is the main reason to tune in and watch.