Rihanna’s halftime show at Super Bowl LVII between the Philadelphia Eagles and the victorious Kansas City Chiefs was already a massive draw, even with the two teams having incredibly eager fan bases. As she took the suspended stage over Arizona’s State Farm Arena, Rihanna used just minutes to announce her second pregnancy and perform her biggest hits, including “Umbrella,” “Diamonds,” and the powerful opener, “B*tch Better Have My Money.”
According to Fox Sports (via Bleacher Report), Rihanna’s halftime show drew in 118.7 million viewers, while the Super Bowl game itself only got 113 million. And, as someone who switched the channel after her performance ended, it seems I wasn’t alone.
Rihanna's halftime performance had more viewers than the Super Bowl 😮
(via @FOXSports) pic.twitter.com/Oajp31Q1gN
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 14, 2023
She also reportedly had the second most-watched halftime show in the Super Bowl’s history, trailing right behind Katy Perry (remember left shark?) at 121 million in viewership numbers.
Rihanna’s #SuperBowl halftime show drew 118.7 million viewers.
It's the second most-watched halftime show ever behind Katy Perry's. pic.twitter.com/auQSfiBvkY
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 14, 2023
not even Rihanna could break Katy's record we're safe besties pic.twitter.com/wrfanBgmtv
— sanya (@kxtystriangle) February 14, 2023
Before her performance, Rihanna sat down for a press conference and noted that she had changed her setlist over 30 times. “You’re trying to cram seventeen years of work into thirteen minutes so it’s difficult,” she said.
“Some songs we have to lose because of that, and that’s going to be okay,” Rihanna added. “We did a pretty good job at narrowing it down. There’s probably been about 39 versions of the setlist right now. We’re on our 39th. Every little change counts.”