Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show Odds
Believe it or not, it’s been five years since Rihanna last performed in public. The multi-platinum popstar from Barbados appeared at the 2018 Grammy Awards to sing “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled and hasn’t taken the stage since. But now she’s back, and Bodog’s Super Bowl halftime show odds have got everyone talking.
It’s great to have her back on the biggest stage of all, but outside of this weekend’s Super Bowl betting, What’s up with Ri-Ri? Is she winding down her career at age 34, so she can be a stay-at-home Mom? Is Rihanna just taking this time to work on other projects before launching yet another blockbuster world tour? And will she and A$AP Rocky finally tie the knot? These are all pressing questions, but there’s one thing everyone wants to know before the Rihanna Halftime Show at Super Bowl LVII: Which song will she sing first?
There’s a long list of contenders on the Super Bowl odds board at Bodog Sportsbook. You can bet on 17 possible openers in our Super Bowl halftime show odds as we go to press; we’ll examine the top contenders in a moment, but first, to give you some context, here’s a quick look at Rihanna’s body of work to this point, and what we can expect going forward for Ms. Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
Career to Date
Rihanna’s music career began when she formed a trio with two of her classmates in Barbados, but record producer Evan Rogers quickly talked her into a solo career and arranged for her first recording sessions. Music of the Sun was released in 2005, the first of a six-album deal she signed with Jay-Z and the Def Jam label; this album was a minor hit and received mixed reviews before eventually reaching platinum status.
It was Rihanna’s second album, A Girl Like Me (2006), that made her a star in the United States. Good Girl Gone Bad (2007) enjoyed even more success, as Rihanna drifted further away from dancehall and into dance-pop. This was followed by Rated R in 2009, and more releases every year until Unapologetic (2012) finally gave Ri-Ri her first chart-topping album on the Billboard 200.
Anti (2016), Rihanna’s most recent album, was her first after leaving Def Jam – and definitely her most soulful, reaching No. 230 on the 2020 edition of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In total, Rihanna has sold over 250 million records, racking up 14 No. 1 singles and nine Grammy Awards; Ri-Ri was also named a National Hero in Barbados in 2021, earning the title “The Right Excellent” in her native country.
Rihanna’s love life has been the subject of much interest over the years – probably none more than 2009, when her then-partner Chris Brown was charged with assaulting her and making criminal threats. The two split up, but reconciled in 2012 before calling it quits again the following year.
Next in line was Hassan Jameel, a billionaire mover and shaker in Saudi Arabia; they were an item from 2017 to 2020, when they reportedly decided their lives were just too different to keep going. That opened the door for New York rapper A$AP Rocky, who first toured with Rihanna in 2013. They hit it off marvellously, and are still an item to this day, with Rihanna giving birth to their son in May 2022.
Best Shows and Biggest Hits
Heading into Sunday’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, Rihanna has been on tour seven times in support of her albums, including five global tours; the biggest of these was the record-breaking 2013 Diamonds World Tour, which included Ri-Ri performing for 100,000 fans at the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.
The set list for this tour, as you may have already guessed by the name, included “Diamonds” from her Unapologetic album. This song was written by Sia and producers Benny Blanco and Stargate, and has become one of Rihanna’s signature numbers, alongside “Umbrella” from Good Girl Gone Bad, which features co-writer Jay-Z on vocals.
Super Bowl Halftime Show Odds: First Song
“Don’t Stop the Music” from Good Girl Gone Bad is the favourite at +225 in Bodog’s Super Bowl halftime show odds. It’s a Grammy nominee for Best Dance Recording and one of the biggest songs from 2009. This is the one that samples Michael Jackson singing “Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa” from his track “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” off the 1982 Thriller album.
“Diamonds” is the +275 second favourite to be the opener for her Halftime Show. “Diamonds” was a No. 1 hit in 20 different countries, and certified 7x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Rihanna performed it on Saturday Night Live, and it’s since been covered on shows ranging from The Voice to The Masked Singer. There is one problem with this choice, though: “Diamonds” is a mid-tempo song that might work better later on in the set.
Sitting third on the Halftime Show odds list at +350 is “Stay” from Unapologetic, followed by “This Is What You Came For” at +450. The latter is a 2016 duet with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris that was co-written by Harris and Taylor Swift. Again, “Stay” is a ballad that might not work as an opener – although a more up-tempo rendition would still count for betting purposes – while “This Is What You Came For” is an EDM banger that was a smash hit on the Hot Dance/Electronic charts.
There are 13 other potential Rihanna Halftime Show openers on Bodog’s odds list, including “Umbrella” as a +1400 outsider, but unless some footage leaks from rehearsals, we won’t know which one is the winner until Rihanna hits the stage at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. But we can estimate that Rihanna will be performing 9 to 10 songs during her set, based on her over/under of 9.5 for the Halftime Show.
Also, both Jay-Z and Drake (who featured on “What’s My Name,” which is priced at +600 for this Super Bowl prop) are available as a bet to appear on stage at the Halftime Show. Maybe that’s a hint that their respective collaborations with Rihanna will have to wait until later in the set, after The Right Excellent Ri-Ri has claimed ownership of the stage.
Will people be talking about this performance as one of the most iconic Super Bowl halftime shows of all time? Time will tell. Keep an eye on the Super Bowl odds board at Bodog Sportsbook for the latest developments, and enjoy the show.