Rihanna returned Sunday after years away from the concert stage, giving a pulsating pop performance at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show that called on her deep reservoir of hits.
Seven years removed from her last album, the 34-year-old Barbadian billionaire brushed aside the rust, reigning over a show that cut a contrast to the ensemble halftime performance of 2022.
A rep for the artist confirmed to the Daily News after the show that the artist, seen holding her stomach area a number of times, was pregnant.
Rihanna, wearing a cherry red jumpsuit, arrived on an elevated stage at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and opened with “B—h Better Have My Money.”
Her stage moved up and down high above the field but below crackling fireworks as she transitioned into a string of hits: from “Where Have You Been,” to “Only Girl (In the World)” and “We Found Love.”
By the time she rolled into a suggestive performance of “Rude Boy,” she had come down to a larger stage, surrounded by legions of dancers dressed all in white.
The performance crescendoed with Rihanna roaring through “Run This Town,” the 2007 smash “Umbrella” and finally — as the dark went down and fans held up lights — “Diamonds.”
At one point, Rihanna stroked her stomach during “Diamonds,” fanning talk on Twitter that she might be pregnant.
“Thank you, Arizona,” she said smiling, as the crowd cheered at the end of the show.
Rihanna’s halftime outing came after a mishmash rap-centric halftime show last year that starred Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar. Two years ago, the Weeknd featured in the halftime show.
Rihanna had once been reluctant to lend her powerful vocals to the NFL’s biggest night, saying that she “absolutely” could not headline the halftime show in 2019.
“I couldn’t dare do that,” Rihanna told Vogue at the time, citing the NFL’s rejection of the social activism of Colin Kaepernick. “I just couldn’t be a sellout.”
But on Sunday, at the first Super Bowl to feature two Black starting quarterbacks, Rihanna appeared to relinquish her resistance.