Rihanna’s 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show Setlist Includes Your Favorite Songs
RiRi’s long-awaited comeback performance was a celebration of her 17-year career.
The wait is over. Rihanna made her long awaited performance comeback on music’s biggest stage: the Super Bowl Halftime show. The Feb. 12 event marked the billionaire’s first performance in more than five years. The halftime show fulfilled the nine-time Grammy winner’s promise to represent all eras of her career, previously calling her set “a celebration of my catalogue in the best way we could have put it together” at Apple Music’s press conference earlier in the week.
Rihanna admitted that creating the setlist was the biggest challenge of the entire production — even more than having hundreds of people building and taking down the stage in mere minutes. “That was the hardest hardest part,” she said. “You only have 13 minutes, that’s the challenge, so you’re trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes.” The singer said she went through 39 different setlists, all with different tweaks, additions, and deletions, before locking down the final version. “You know, some songs we have to lose because of that, and that’s gonna be OK,” she said. “But I think we did a pretty good job of narrowing it down.”
Here’s every song Rihanna performed during the Super Bowl Halftime Show, which you can watch in full on NFL’s YouTube channel:
1. “Bitch Better Have My Money”
Perhaps unexpectedly, Rihanna opened her Super Bowl set with “Bitch Better Have My Money” — but not before a simple intro asking, “What’s My Name?,” riffing off her 2010 hit.
2. “Where Have You Been”
The star seamlessly transitioned into her 2011 Grammy-nominated hit, adding new details into the epic bass drop, including an interpolation of “Cockiness (Love It).”
3. “Only Girl (In the World)”
RiRi kept the dance party going by storming into the chorus of her Grammy-winning single.
4. “We Found Love”
She ended the dance segment with “We Found Love,” which remains one of her longest-running Billboard No. 1s to date, incorporating the iconic hook from her 2010 hit “S&M.”
5. “Rude Boy”
Rihanna added more bounce to “Rude Boy,” giving it a danceable remix treatment that included a sample of her 2016 Anti deep cut “Kiss It Better.”
She then seamlessly transitioned into her Anti hit “Work” — Drake appearance not included.
7. “Wild Thoughts”
Rihanna’s last performance was at the 2018 Grammy Awards, where she joined DJ Khaled to sing their collaboration “Wild Thoughts.” For the Super Bowl, she did it solo.
8. “Pour It Up”
RiRi used the intro of her 2011 hit “Birthday Cake” to lead into “Pour It Up,” which was slightly remixed with a sample of her 2012 Unapologetic deep cut “Numb.”
9. “All of the Lights”
Rihanna proved she did not need Kanye West to perform the anthemic chorus of his 2010 hit. But right before, she and her dancers launched into a sleek dance break soundtracked by her 2016 Anti deep cut “Pose.”
10. “Run This Town”
Jay-Z also did not come out to perform “Run This Town” with her as widely predicted, but it sounded just as empowering as ever.
Rihanna took it back to 2007 by performing “Umbrella,” her oldest hit on the setlist.
For her grand finale, Rihanna shot back into the air and fittingly shined brighter than any diamond in the sky.
Every member of the Rihanna Navy had their own hopes for which songs she would pull out for the Super Bowl — including Grammy winner H.E.R., who said Rihanna just has just too many anthems to choose from. “They’re going to have to extend the broadcast just a little bit,” she said to Apple Music during Super Bowl week. “Man, I want to hear ‘Umbrella.’ I want to hear the classics. I want to hear ‘We Found Love.’ I know I want to hear ‘Love on the Brain.’”
Gamblers even had placed bets on which songs would open and close the show, with “Diamonds” being the favorite to kick off the performance and “Don’t Stop the Music” being the most-bet contender for the finale.