Super Bowl LVII has reached halftime from Glendale, Arizona and predictions are flooding in for the matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. From the final score to who'll win the Lombardi trophy to MVP to prop bets and everything in between, fans and experts are making their guesses for everything that will take place during the game.
With predictions coming in about all aspects of the big event, it only makes sense that we should predict what the halftime show will be like. Superstar artist Rihannain a highly anticipated halftime show. Not much has been spoiled about the performance so far, so her setlist and whether she will have any special guests join her on stage remain to be seen.
Ahead of the big performance, we took all the data, the statistics and history of the halftime performances to give you all a prediction of what we think will happen on Sunday. If correct, we will accept all praise. If wrong? We just can forget these predictions ever happened.
Which song will Rihanna sing first?
Rihanna has 14 No. 1 hits, plus 31 songs in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, with a total of 360 weeks in the top 10. So she has a lot of songs, and popular ones, to choose from.
Some favorites for her to start with are "Diamonds," "Don't Stop the Music" and "We Found Love." The opening of "Diamonds" allows for a gradual build into the setlist and the visual options with a song about diamonds are endless. A glittering stadium, fans being given bracelets that light up or light effects on the stage would make for a powerful start. It is one of her most popular songs, charting for three consecutive weeks in the Top 100, peaking at No. 1. Considering whoever wins the Super Bowl will get lots of diamonds on their championship ring, it would be a very fitting start to the performance.
If Rihanna wants to build the show and gradually get to the more upbeat songs, her latest recording, "Lift Me," would be an excellent place to start. During Thursday's interview about the halftime show, Rihanna put an emphasis on representation, wanting to be that person for Black women, immigrants and people from the Caribbean to see "the possibilities" of what they can be. We expect her performance to echo the importance she puts on representation.
Which song will Rihanna sing last?
When thinking of which song Rihanna would close with, we took a lot of things into consideration. There has to be an element of drama, hype and it will likely be a chart topper. "Run This Town" is a solid guess for her opening song, especially since on the Thursday ahead of the Super Bowl she released a documentary on Apple Music titled after the song and used the song in the preview. "Run This Town" is an ultimate hype anthem by Jay-Z, who has collaborated with the NFL for multiple years in planning the halftime show, that heavily features Rihanna. If she does have a special guest we can see it happening right in the beginning or the very end, and it wouldn't be surprising if it was Jay-Z (more on that below) so everything does line up for this song.
While the songs Rihanna plays do not have to be directly related to the biggest football game of the year, the lyrics to "Run This Town" very much reflect what both the Eagles and Chiefs are attempting to do on Sunday. The lyrics ("Victory's within the mile, Almost there, don't give up now, Only thing that's on my mind, Is who's gonna run this town tonight") could not work more perfectly with the event, so making it first or last would make a big impact.
Which songs will Rihanna perform?
Discussing the halftime show just days before the game, Rihanna did not give too much away about her setlist, but did say she has made many changes as they have prepared the show.
"The setlist was the biggest challenge. That was the hardest hardest part. Deciding how to maximize 13 minutes. ... I think we did a pretty good job at narrowing it down," she said, adding that trying to cram 17 years worth of music in such a short time is difficult.
"There's probably about 39 versions of the setlist right now," Rihanna said.
When asked about her favorite albums to record, she gave a shoutout to "Loud" and "Diamonds," but said her all-time favorite is "ANTI," so our guess is we will see at least one song from each album.
Below are six selected songs we think (and am hoping) she performs, but from the sound of her interview it could really be any mix of songs she chooses.
- "Run This Town"
- "Cheers (Drink to That)"
- "Don't Stop the Music"
- "Pon de Replay"
Which special guest(s) will she bring out?
When one headliner is announced for the halftime show, there are not always special guests brought out. Neither Lady Gaga (2017) nor The Who (2010) brought any special guests when they did their halftime shows.
If Rihanna does bring out a special guest, I can see her adding someone from Roc Nation, who has partnered with the NFL for the halftime show performances. Roc Nation was founded by Jay-Z, who is credited as one of the major players in discovering Rihanna, so the halftime performance is very much all in the family.
Rihanna and Jay-Z also have songs together, including "Run This Town," "Umbrella" and "Talk That Talk," so it would make sense for them to join together for the performance. If Jay-Z does make an appearance, I would expect it to be short.
Rihanna has done collaborations with a lot of artists, including Drake, Future, DJ Khaled, Emimem, Shakira, Coldplay, Calvin Harris, SZA and Ne-Yo to name a few. Drake is a reach as far as we're concerned and don't predict he would make an appearance. Eminem, Shakira and Coldplay have all already done Super Bowl performances, with Eminem and Shakira performing since Roc Nation's collaboration with the NFL.
Halftime show bold predictions
What everyone wants from Rihanna is new music. Any new music. Her fans, known as the "Rihanna Navy," have joked that they will take any genre from the singer. Rihanna has not performed in seven years and has not released an album since 2016, when she dropped "ANTI."
During her interview ahead of the game, Rihanna was hush on whether new music will be coming, but if there was ever a time to make an announcement, right after the most-watched musical performance of the year would be it. I could see a tweet that rocks the internet announcing new music, a single, an album or even a tour.
She did give some information on how she is feeling about the music side of her career going forward. "Musically I'm feeling open. I'm feeling open to exploring discovering creating things that a new things that are different," Rihanna said. "I just want to play. I just want to have fun … with music."
What special effects will the performance have?
Rihanna may not have taken the stage in a while, but as one of the biggest musical stars of her time, there is no doubt the show will be big. A rain effect during "Umbrella" is an idea many people have been predicting.
"From the time it starts it just never ends," Rihanna said, stopping herself and smiling, adding "Now I'm saying too much, but it's a jam packed show."
What time is Rihanna expected to be on?
The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, which means the halftime show will likely be somewhere around 8 p.m. ET. An exact time cannot be predicted due to the nature of not knowing how long the first half will last, so the time is an estimate.