From guest appearances to must-perform songs, here’s everything we want to see from Rihanna’s Super Bowl comeback

Rihanna smiles at the Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show - Press Conference

It’s been more than five years (or 1,840 days, if you’re counting), since Rihanna’s last public performance, at the 2018 Grammy awards, and even longer since her last album, Anti, was released.

Besides her slightly underwhelming single “Lift Me Up” from last year’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever film, our lives have been experiencing an extreme Rihanna music drought.

This weekend, that all changes. The Barbadian pop God, 34, will make her insanely anticipated stage return at the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday 12 February, performing a 13-minute medley of her biggest hits in homage to her home country.

Rihanna’s fans have already voiced their opinions on all the must-haves that she should include in the show, from an Alyssa vs. Tatianna “Shut Up and Drive” lip sync rematch, to a Tom Holland guest appearance for “Umbrella”.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of everything we want to see from her big musical comeback.

This exact setlist

Rihanna has eight albums and 53 lead singles, in addition to a bunch of strong features, so choosing a handful to perform at the Super Bowl will have no doubt been an impossible task.

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Using science (checking how many songs other halftime performers have included in their shows), we’ve calculated that RiRi will perform seven or eight songs in total. And it should be these songs, in this order:

  • We Found Love
  • S&M
  • Disturbia
  • Kiss It Better
  • Diamonds
  • What’s My Name?
  • Only Girl (In The World)
  • Umbrella

With such an extensive discography, there’s room for a few curveballs. Anti is, undeniably, Rihanna’s best album, so a “Same Ol’ Mistakes”, “Needed Me” and “Love on the Brain” medley would be welcome.

There’s also scope for a ‘throwback segment’, paying tribute to Rihanna’s older, undervalued deep cuts— if she added “Rehab”, “Fire Bomb”, or “Fading” to the setlist we wouldn’t be mad.

These potential guest appearances

She’s one of the absolute queens of collabs, working with other artists on no less than 49 songs. As such, we can expect a few special guests to join her throughout her performance. This is who we want to see — no men, please!

  • Britney Spears: The pair collaborated on a remix of the 2011 hit “S&M”, and now that Britney is free from her evil conservatorship, there is a very real possibility that she could make her stage return alongside Rihanna.

  • SZA: Fans have been eating up SZA’s SOS after a torturous five-year wait, with the album smashing records in the US. SZA and Rihanna worked together on Anti’s track one, “Consideration”, and she seems like a fairly obvious guest to bring out.

  • Shakira: Shakira has spent the last few months playing detective and searching her fridge for evidence that her ex-partner, Gerard Pique, was cheating. Now that saga has come to an end, she’ll hopefully have some time to join RiRi on stage to perform their fiery 2014 track, “Can’t Remember To Forget You”.

  • Beyoncé: A Rihanna/Beyoncé collaboration is the most obvious-sounding collaboration in history, but it’s never happened. If Rihanna could change that this weekend, that would be lovely, thanks.

  • Curveball: Avril Lavigne to come out and sing the “Yeah, yeah!” bit on “Cheers (Drink To That)”.

This list of post-show announcements

The world is ready for new Rihanna music. In the words of Titanic‘s Rose, it’s been 84 years.

During her Apple Music’s #SBLVII Halftime Show press conference, the star teased that she’s “having fun” creating “weird” new music that her fans won’t expect. Whatever she’s been cooking, we need to be fed. We’re starved. The new album has to be the first post-Super Bowl announcement Rihanna makes.

Then there’s the much-rumoured Rihanna world tour, which would be her first in seven years. It would make a lot of sense for her to return to the stage, remind the world of her uncompromisable force, and then take our money by announcing a string of concert dates.

However, if she decides to leave this announcement a little longer, so our bank accounts can recover from the Taylor, Beyoncé, and Madonna tours, that would be fine too.

Rihanna will take to the stage for the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show on Sunday 12 February (John Shearer/Getty)

Finally, Rihanna should stake her claim as the global Pride ambassador for 2023. While a rumour that she was this year’s headliner at Brighton Pride was quickly quashed by organisers, there’s still time for her to take over all other Pride events internationally.

Manchester Pride, NYC Pride, São Paulo Gay Pride Parade, Chichester Pride — Rihanna should be the mainstay of all LGBTQ+ events until further notice.

Sorry Fenty Beauty, but this is not your time.

The Super Bowl LVII airs at 4:30pm (MST) on Sunday 12 February, or from 11.30pm GMT on ITV in the UK.