NEW YORK (AFP): Rihanna made her long-awaited return to the stage at the Super Bowl with a career-spanning medley of pop bangers, but it was her baby bump that dominated the conversation.
The megastar appeared in the stadium midair on a floating stage, donning a clingy, all-red ensemble featuring a molded bustier — and a belt below what many viewers deduced was another mini RiRi in the making.
Representatives for the singer confirmed the speculation to trade magazines Rolling Stone and The Hollywood Reporter: Rihanna is pregnant with her second child.
The 34-year-old welcomed her first child, a son, with rapper A$AP Rocky in May.
Musically speaking, fans who hoped for some fresh tracks were disappointed: Rihanna’s night on the world’s biggest stage offered a nostalgia tour of hits past.
She delivered her club smashes including “Where Have You Been” to “Only Girl (In the World)” and the time-tested “We Found Love.”
“Rude Boy,” “Bitch Better Have My Money,” “Work” and “All of the Lights” were also on the setlist, as a sea of dancers performed stunning acrobatics.
“Wild Thoughts” “Run This Town” and, of course, “Umbrella” and “Diamonds” rounded out the show.
She did not, as many stars do, bring out any guest artists, commanding the stage all on her own.
The evening marked a reversal after Rihanna had previously turned down the gig in protest of the National Football League’s handling of race issues.
But in accepting the coveted slot this time around, the Barbados-born singer said it was “important for representation.”
“It’s important for my son to see this.”
Since releasing “Anti” in early 2016, Robyn Rihanna Fenty has taken a break from recording but has by no means taken it easy: she’s become a billionaire, parlaying her music achievements into successful makeup, lingerie and high-fashion brands.
Since her last album Rihanna has performed occasional features and more recently recorded music for the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” soundtrack.
But the album she’s been teasing for years remains the stuff of myth — and seemed it would stay so awhile longer.