Rihanna Reveals Pregnancy in Super Bowl Halftime Show, Reactions Wildly Mixed
Pop star Rihanna revealed that she is pregnant with her second child during last night’s Superbowl Halftime show.
The 34-year-old took the stage in Phoenix Sunday night dressed entirely in bright red. The outfit did not try to hide but revealed her baby bump, and Rihanna became the first pregnant woman to star in the halftime show.
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Rihanna made the most of the big reveal in the early minutes of her performance, rubbing her stomach and unzipping her baggy jumpsuit to reveal her baby bump made visible by a form-fitting bodysuit.
Rihanna shows off her baby bump. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/n0vJ4qlqXS
— Pop Base (@PopBase) February 13, 2023
Rihanna hinted at this reveal well before the show, hinting that she was “bringing someone.” Most assumed she was referring to another performer, but it seems she was referring to her unborn child, an erratic move for the vocally pro-choice celebrity.
“I’m not sure. We’ll see,” she teased while speaking with CBS Sports. She refused to elaborate further, saying that if she did, “it wouldn’t be a surprise.”
According to a source at Rihanna’s press conference on Friday, the audience wasn’t the only one fooled. The pop singer also hid her intentions and pregnancy from the Super Bowl team. “Nobody knew” that Rihanna was pregnant before she took the stage. “She totally hid it,” says the source.
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It certainly was a change of pace from previous Superbowl halftime shows, which featured male and female stars alike stripping the majority of their clothes throughout the performance.
I don’t want to jinx it but—- Rihanna is the first female Super Bowl performer in recent memory that has managed to keep her clothes on.
Nudity doesn’t shock me anymore.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) February 13, 2023
That said, along with belting out a selection of greatest hits, the performer kept up the Superbowl tradition of sensual dances, even fully clothed, sparking controversy.
Heard she grabbed her crotch & backside then smelled her hand.
.Rihanna grabs crotch and butt before smelling her hand at Super Bowl https://t.co/mxBe2nHJDl via https://t.co/iwfhHlvXRA
— OneNationUnderFraud (@TheRaytedex) February 13, 2023
Others disapproved of the show for other reasons. Former President Donald Trump ripped the performance on Truth Social. In a Thursday post before the show, Trump lashed out at Rihanna, calling her “Bad everything, and NO TALENT!” and arguing that “Without her ‘Stylist,’ she’d be NOTHING.”
Just minutes after the show, the former president called the performance the “single worst Halftime Show in Super Bowl history.” Trump’s vitriol towards the singer stems from politics. He posted a quote from his White House doctor, Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), in which the Texas congressman claimed Rihanna “made a career of spewing degenerate filth while badmouthing America every chance she gets.”
The performance itself aside, a representative for Rihanna confirmed the star was, in fact, pregnant to PEOPLE after the show. This will be Rihanna’s second child with Grammy-winning rapper A$AP Rocky. The pair welcomed their first child in May 2022.
Rihanna first revealed her first child in January of 2022; a source told PEOPLE Rihanna was “excited to be a mom” and “couldn’t be happier.”
“Everything Rihanna does, she does it her own way on her own time table, and having a baby is no different…. “They’re just like any other pair of parents-to-be. Yes, they happen to be famous, but they’re just the cutest, giddiest young couple that’s expecting kids.””
Before welcoming her first child, Rihanna told Elle a bit about the plan for her parenting style, citing the Real Housewives of New Jersey.
“Teresa from Jersey does not play about her kids. She will flatten you about those kids. And that resonates with me a lot because I feel like that’s the type of mom I’m going to be. Psycho about it.”
On the iHeart/NFL podcast with Nate Burleson in the run-up to the big game, Rihanna gushed about how rewarding raising her first child has been and how risk-sensitive it has made her.
“I’m living for my son. Everything matters now. You really start to take a lot into account.”
The superstar even called her life before “obscure” and proclaimed all the hard work to be worth it.
“Everything is different, life before my son seems very obscure. It’s very small and cloudy, it just got better with him…. “It’s so much hard work, but nothing is more fulfilling than that.”
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