Why Rihanna Wanted to Perform the Super Bowl Halftime Show Alone
Rihanna took to the stage for her highly-anticipated Super Bowl LVII halftime performance Sunday night with only one special guest star – her unborn baby – revealing she and her partner, A$AP Rocky, were expecting their second child after welcoming a son in May. With her pregnancy reveal, Rihanna kept all eyes on her throughout the rest of her visually-stunning performance, eschewing any other guest stars, despite her numerous high-profile collaborations throughout her career.
"I think it was just her wanting to make the statement that she could carry this thing and she did," Super Bowl halftime show producer Jesse Collins told Entertainment Tonight of Rihanna's decision to shine solo. "People just want to see her and so she had to give 'em a show and she did. We haven't seen her dance like that in a long time and I thought it was just spectacular."
In fact, watching Rihanna perform her 13-minute medley from within the stadium itself were the "Disturbia" singer's former collaborators, JAY-Z, DJ Khaled, and her boyfriend, A$AP Rocky. The pregnant songstress made history as the first expectant main performer to take the stage during the Super Bowl halftime show, and she did so with an array of high-rise platforms and dynamic backup dancers.
"She's scared of heights but she got it together for this and I have to give the credit to her creative director, Willo Perron," Collins explained. "He came up with that idea along with our choreographer Parris [Goebel] and it was just unbelievable." The floating stages actually entered the picture due to concerns about the weight limit for State Farm Stadium field, which Collins called a "sponge."
"We were like, 'You can only do this much on the field,' and they were like, 'Well, we'll just put it all in the air,'" Collins recalled. The producer noted that despite Rihanna's fear of heights, she felt most comfortable "all the way up at the top. She loved it at the top." The "Umbrella" singer also had to struggle through finding the perfect version of her "massive catalog" of music to fit into her 13-minute slot, with Collins noting that the ever-changing set list eventually settled on version 39. "She wasn't gonna be ready until it was absolutely perfect," he noted.