When Rihanna hinted at a surprise guest during her Super Bowl halftime show, no one could have guessed what she meant.
After a glittering performance, a representative for Rihanna confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the singer is pregnant with her second child — but not before online speculation began.
While Rihanna, who wore an all-red ensemble, had everyone singing along to hits like “Umbrella,” “We Found Love,” “Diamonds” and “Work,” some fans were quick to notice a baby bump.
Pregnancy rumors flooded social media, with fans pointing to alleged signs, such as an interview with CBS Sports in which she admitted she was initially hesitant to perform at halftime.
“I was like, ‘You sure? I’m three months postpartum,” said the singer, who welcomed her first child last May with rapper A$AP Rocky. “‘Should I be making major decisions like this right now? I might regret this.’”
Ultimately, she said motherhood inspired her to take the stage for the first time in seven years, saying, “It’s important for me to do this this year. It’s important for representation. It’s important for my son to see that.”
Fans also pointed to other clips of Rihanna rubbing her belly during the performance.
It’s worth noting that the media has a habit of feeding into pregnancy speculations about women celebrities before pregnancy announcements are made — and sometimes, without pregnancy announcements ever being made.
For example, Jennifer Aniston has seen over 55 articles falsely reporting she is pregnant, which she has called “hurtful and just nasty.” And in 2021, Natalie Portman called out a false tabloid story which claimed she had a baby bump. Kelsea Ballerini, however, had the perfect response when a social media user asked if she was pregnant:
“I’m sure you mean well, but it’s incredibly insensitive to ask or assume if another woman is pregnant. I’m not, by the way.” Ballerini then added, “But if I were, I’d want to share that in my own time when I felt ready. Let’s not judge bloat levels on the internet.”
Most etiquette experts – and pretty much every woman on the planet – generally agree: Let a woman be the first one to announce she is pregnant before speculating on a public platform. That being said, once Rihanna’s pregnancy was confirmed to be true, it was all congratulations.
While her show garnered thunderous applause for the entire thirteen-minute set, the singer was later praised for becoming the first singer to perform a halftime show while pregnant.
And Rihanna’s fans all seem to agree on one thing: her baby had the best Super Bowl seat in the house.