Rihanna performs during the halftime show of the Super Bowl in Arizona. [Source: Aljazeera Entertainment]
Pop and R&B superstar Rihanna performed hits from Umbrella to Diamonds as she wowed the Super Bowl halftime crowd at her first live performance in seven years, and revealed she was pregnant for a second time.
Dressed in a voluminous red jumpsuit over a tight-fitting latex top, Rihanna kicked off the 13-minute show on a platform high above the stage in Glendale, Arizona, with dozens of dancers in white ski suits suspended on separate platforms around her.
The 34-year-old sang her biggest hits with none of the instant costume changes, scene shifts or guest appearances that other performers have deployed at Super Bowl halftimes.
The theme, and the colour scheme, remained the same throughout the set, with red lights bathing the long stage.
Fireworks went off and lights sparkled from the stand as she was raised alone back into the air and sang Diamonds — with its refrain of “shine bright like a diamond” — to mark the end of the set.
Rihanna’s tight clothing suggested a baby bump and sparked off a wave of social media speculation. After the show concluded, Rihanna’s representative confirmed the singer was pregnant. She gave birth to her first child — with rapper A$AP Rocky — nine months ago.
The Super Bowl is the music industry’s premiere showcase and has featured performers including Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Prince, Madonna and the Rolling Stones. The broadcast usually draws about 100 million viewers in the United States, with more tuning in from around the world.
DJ Snake and Jason Derulo, whose backup dancers included synchronised robot dogs, performed before the kick-off in Arizona.
The Kansas City Chiefs went on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 and take home their third Super Bowl championship.