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Touchdown to ‘Run This Town’: Countdown to Rihanna’s Return to the Stage

The countdown to the highly anticipated half-time show is on!
February 10, 2023 3:20 p.m. EST
February 10, 2023 3:20 p.m. EST

The clock is ticking to Super Bowl LVII, but not fast enough for Rihanna fans counting down to her highly-anticipated halftime show. The multi-Grammy winner is set to captivate crowds in Glendale, Arizona this Sunday for her first on-stage performance since 2018.  Though the pop icon has been mostly tight-lipped about her act, the “Rude Boy” and “Work” singer, 34, is not one to leave her fans hanging. Taking to social media, @badgalriri hyped the first Apple Music-sponsored halftime show with a teaser trailer

The 30-second promo was enough to stir up buzz about her setlist, mystery guests, and especially if this will mark her music comeback since her last album ANTI dropped in 2016.  A world tour is another hot topic. Rumblings of Rihanna hitting the road later this year surfaced just recently, fueling speculation for hopeful fans everywhere.  

Expect the Unexpected

RiRi fans know that she’s in a class of her own and that anything is possible. Right now, the biggest question is who she’ll invite to join her on stage if anyone. If past collaborations are any indication, a few names stand out: Jay-Z, Eminem, Drake, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Britney Spears, Kendrick Lamar, Shakira, and PartyNextDoor among others. 

While we don't know what's in store for the concert, we can surely expect Rihanna to serve up some ‘Savage’ looks. The “Umbrella” singer recently Tweeted a twelve-second “pregame” teaser of her getting ready for the show and sporting her Savage X Fenty Game Day Collection.



The newly released collection features everything from jerseys to beanies, with many items selling out in a flash. One cheeky t-shirt especially was a hot ticket with, “Rihanna concert interrupted by a football game, weird but whatever” in bold black letters on the front. 

Adding to the buzz, Rihanna’s makeup artist Priscilla Ono gave a glimpse into the inspiration behind Rihanna's glam endgame. In a recent interview, Ono said, “I just want it to look super iconic. Nothing trendy, like no micro trends. Nothing that’s like, ‘OK, that was done in the 2010s, 2020s.’ I want it to be super timeless.”

Bad Gal to Billionaire

Music is how it all started for Rihanna, business mogul turned billionaire is how it’s going. From singer to entrepreneur, Rihanna built a beauty and fashion empire as the founder of brands: Fenty Beauty, Fenty Skin, and lingerie line Savage X Fenty, all with a focus on inclusivity and diversity. Fenty Eau de Parfum, the latest addition to her portfolio, was released last summer.

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

Comeback or not, this past year has been monumental for the pop and R&B star. Starting with welcoming a baby boy with boyfriend A$AP Rocky last May, to receiving her first Oscar nod for her song, “Lift Me Up” the lead single for the film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and now set to perform in front of one of the biggest TV audiences of the year. 

Mr. DJ, Won’t you Turn the Music Up?

As with past headliners, Rihanna will likely have about 12 minutes of stage time. Which songs will she sing? Your guess is as good as ours, so we turn to the music critics to shed some light. Billboard tackled putting together a “dream setlist” for the show and here’s what it looks like:

“Don’t Stop the Music” / “SOS”


“Rude Boy” 

“Love on the Brain”



“Needed Me”

Eminem Medley (“Love the Way You Lie” / “The Monster”)

Jay-Z Medley (“Talk That Talk” / “Run This Town” / “Umbrella”)

An unreleased R9 track (this fantasy set is based on wishful thinking, after all)

“We Found Love”

Past Performances

Take a stroll down memory lane with these halftime show headliners:

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar & 50 Cent (2022)

The Weekend (2021)

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira (2020)

Maroon 5 (2019)

Justin Timberlake (2018)

Lady Gaga (2017)

Coldplay (2016)

Katy Perry (2015)

Bruno Mars (2014)

Beyonce and Destiny’s Child (2013)

Madonna (2012)

Oh, and the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

How to Watch: Super Bowl LVII airs on Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on CTV and TSN+ enhanced streams.

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