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Ranking Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show Performances

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Stony Brook chapter.

Talk about a cultural reset! None other than Rihanna performed at the Super Bowl halftime show last weekend and stopped the world for those 13 minutes. The backup dancers that were dressed like marshmallows made the performance even better with their spectacular choreography and personality. The production of the show and the set pulled it all together. Rihanna even revealed that she was pregnant with baby #2. Congrats RiRi! Let’s go through each of the songs that Rihanna performed last weekend for the Super Bowl and rank them:


Even though this performance is in last place, it was still beyond amazing. The adorable fist bump Rihanna gave to the guitarist was so pure. The song itself is a great song to perform in a big arena, as it has that “epic” feel to it. Watching all of the backup dancers sway their hands in the field as the camera panned further away from the scene was the best part. The only thing that I wish this performance had was more dancing from Rihanna herself. I also wish we got this song to go on a little bit longer.

11. Wild Thoughts

Now this song is one of my personal favorites. I wish we got more time for this performance, though. However, the beginning transition from Work to Wild Thoughts was amazing. The drastic light change from red to blue and the slow lean forward that Rihanna did. Great synchronization from the backup dancers as well. If only this performance was a little longer…

10. Only girl (In The World)

This song is a classic, there’s no doubt about it. However, I would have loved more dancing from Rihanna for this performance. Her vocals in this performance were unmatched. She sounded strong and powerful. She truly looked like a queen when she was performing on that platform. I also wished that we got more of this song, it felt too short for such an amazing track.

9. B**** Better have my money

This was such a bold song to open with, and I loved it. This song encapsulates Rihanna’s baddie attitude, and she never fails to remind us that she’s the boss, always. That smug face that she had on right before the performance started really set the tone. The dancing on top of the raised platform was extraordinary and took our breath away right from the start. That belly rub at the beginning was also a pivotal moment! It gave her secret away. We can’t wait to meet baby #2! Her subtle dance moves at the end topped this spectacular entrance off.

8. All of the lights

I already expected the production and set for this song to be amazing, and it certainly did not disappoint. From the panned-out view of the entire field with the running dancers, this performance was wonderfully executed. The flashing lights added to the aura of this song, and it felt victorious. My favorite part of this performance was when Rihanna stopped for a makeup touch-up with none other than a Fenty Beauty product. Rihanna also looked like the was enjoying the dancing that she did for this performance as well. It was all exhilarating to watch.

7. Pour It Up

I would say that this song is B**** Better Have My Money’s big sister. The performance was executed flawlessly. From the lights to the dancing, to the synchronization, to the vocals. Everything flowed well together. I would like to specifically highlight the synchronization of the dancing in this performance between Rihanna and the backup dancers. They all worked together to make this an immaculate performance.

6. Umbrella

What a throwback! You can’t top the oldies. Rihanna looked like she was singing her heart out with this song. This was HER song. This is the song that defines Rihanna, and often the one that comes to mind first when you think of Rihanna’s rise to fame. The production during this song worked perfectly with the feeling that this song emits. She even added a jacket to her outfit. She genuinely looked like she enjoyed performing this song, and that’s what made it even better.

5. Work

I was waitingggg for this one! Nothing wants to make you get up and dance like this 2016 summer anthem. I was beyond excited when I heard the beginning of this song. In my opinion, the backup dancers really brought this performance to life. Their dance moves caught my attention the whole time and the way it complemented Rihanna was so satisfying to watch. It even became a TikTok trend to recreate a certain part of the dance! There’s just something so sultry about this song and Rihanna’s voice as well as the dancing really captured it perfectly.

4. Where have you been

There’s no other word to describe this song other than iconic. The dance moves at the beginning got me hyped for what was coming. This song just makes you want to get up and belt your heart out, and that’s exactly what Rihanna did. The dance moves were magnificent. I know this had to have been amazing to experience in person in the huge stadium. Rihanna’s vocals really shined during this performance. Such a hype performance, especially because of the dancing and the remixed version of the song.

3. We found love

This song screams nostalgia. I got goosebumps during this performance. This is another outstanding song in Rihanna’s discography that really represents her. This song gives off such an indescribable feeling. The performance was everything I hoped it would be, and better. Her vocals were strong and resonated throughout the entire stadium. The ending transition to this song was amazing, the slow pan out from Rihanna while passing all of the dancers was so cool to watch. She looked like she was truly having a good time while dancing to this song, which made me really happy. WITHe got a lot of smiles from Rihanna during this performance. Everyone looked like they were enjoying performing this song. This performance left me with a smile on my face!

2. Rude Boy

This is one of my all-time favorite Rihanna songs, and I was crossing my fingers and hoping that she would perform it. You can imagine my surprise when she absolutely KILLED this choreography! The dancing is what carried this performance. I still think about it at least 5 times a day. The remix to this song was a perfect choice to use. It was hype and the dance to it was fire. The beginning intro and transition to the song where we were going thorugh the backup dancers got me so hype. The buildup to seeing Rihanna and the beats in the song were just amazing. Rihanna looked hot as ever performing those dance moves as well. No one does it like RiRi.

1. Diamonds

I could not have chosen a better ending song for the halftime show than this song. It was nothing short of perfect. It truly took my breath away. Where do I start? The production with the fireworks and Rihanna towering over everyone and being raised into the light with the sparkly background was insanely beautiful. The closeup of her face and amazing makeup was really nice to see, too. She ended on an amazing note with those powerful vocals. This performance gave everyone chills. The ending when she looked up into the sky to see the fireworks was legendary. I knew she was proud of herself. I can confidently say that this is of her best performances ever given. Best. Halftime Show. Ever.

The world has not stopped buzzing about this insane Super Bowl halftime performance, and I’m sure you now understand why. This has been my favorite halftime show yet, and RiRi truly has outdone herself. She has amazing stage presence and is a spectacular performer. She just has a breathtaking effect on people and she has tons of hits that everyone can vibe to. This was the perfect choice for this year’s halftime show. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next year!

Ria Roy

Stony Brook '24

Ria Roy is a senior at Stony Brook University pursuing a Health Science degree on the pre-med track. She enjoys dancing, posting on social media, journaling, writing poetry, and listening to music in her free time. Follow her on Instagram at @riaroyyy