Rihanna and 10 Other Artists Who Performed While Pregnant

rihanna wearing a red outfit while singing into a microphone in front of several dancers wearing all white
Rihanna and 10 Other Great Pregnant PerformancesKevin Mazur - Getty Images
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Super Bowl LVII was historic on multiple fronts, but the moment that arguably generated the most attention had nothing to do with the game itself. International pop star Rihanna stole the show with an explosive halftime show in which she revealed to the world, for the first time, that she was pregnant.

In addition to delivering what may well be remembered as one of the greatest Super Bowl halftime shows, Rihanna now joins a list of celebrated artists who have placed their pregnancies at center stage. Below are 10 other memorable performances by then-pregnant musicians, including Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and Gwen Stefani.


1986: Televised performance with Kukl

In 1986, Björk wore a belly-bearing shirt during a televised performance with her Icelandic post-punk band Kukl. The performance drew outrage at the time, especially because of how young Björk looked. Drummer Sigtryggur “Siggi” Baldursson, told The Guardian: “I was at a party at my grandmother’s when it was broadcast, and everyone was shocked and disgusted. Björk was 20 but looked about 14. People were going, ‘My God! It’s a pregnant child!’”

Gwen Stefani

2005: Fort Lauderdale concert

gwen stefani singing into a microphone she holds while on stage at concert at bank atlantic center, three women are dancing in the background
Gwen Stefani confirmed she was pregnant with her son during a 2005 concert.Getty Images

During the final stop of her U.S. tour in December 2005, pop star Gwen Stefani confirmed reports of her pregnancy in the middle of a performance. While encouraging the crowd to sing along with her at the Bank Atlantic Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Stefani patted her belly and said “I want you to sing so loud that the baby hears it.” She and her husband at the time, Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale, welcomed their first son the next May.


2009: Grammy Awards

singers mia and jay z singing into microphones on a stage, both wearing sunglasses, with mia wearing a transparent black and white dress, and jay z wearing a black suit jacket
M.I.A. and Jay-Z perform at the 51st Grammy Awards on February 8, 2009.Kevin Mazur - Getty Images

Rapper and singer M.I.A. famously performed at the 2009 Grammy Awards wearing a transparent black shirt that revealed a particularly large belly bump. The February 8 performance actually fell on M.I.A.’s due date, and she even experienced contractions during her performance of “Swagga Like Us.” Jack Sussman, who ran the Grammy show, told MTV that before the show began, “I asked her to just hang on until 10 p.m. ET.” Still, an ambulance was on standby.

Mariah Carey

2010: Christmas special

mariah carey wearing a red dress and smiling as she speaks into a microphone on a stage
Mariah Carey performing during the Live at Christmas In Washington special on December 12, 2010.Kevin Mazur - Getty Images

With her mega-hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You” dominating the airwaves every holiday season, Mariah Carey is practically synonymous with Christmas, and she has done more than her fair share of holiday specials over the years. But one of the most memorable was the 2010 Live at Christmas In Washington, when she performed several holiday standards while wearing a red dress that prominently displayed her pregnancy with twins.


2012: FIFA Women’s World Cup

A pregnant Shakira delivered some of her signature hip-shaking moves in a form-fitting black dress during the closing ceremony of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan in October 2012. The performance was not without controversy but not because of the pregnancy. Amnesty International and Sing for Democracy had asked Shakira (and Rihanna) not to perform because of alleged human rights abuse taking place in the nation, but Shakira went on with the show anyway.

Alicia Keys

2014: MTV European Music Awards

alicia keys singing into a microphone and playing a white piano
Alicia Keys performed during the MTV European Music Awards on November 9, 2014.Shirlaine Forrest - Getty Images

At the 2014 MTV European Music Awards, R&B singer/songwriter Alicia Keys earned acclaim for her performance of “We Are Here” while wearing a silver figure-hugging gown that accentuated her pregnant belly. It was not her first time performing while pregnant: she had also done so at the 2010 BET Awards, the same year she had been named Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Decade.

Christina Aguilera

2014: Wango Tango concert

christina aguilera performs on stage while pregnant, she is wearing a long sleeve tight fitting black dress with transparent portions near the collar and throughout the sleeves, she faces her right so you can see her pregnant belly and holds a microphone in her left hand, her blonde hair is styled in an updo and she is smiling
On May 10, 2014, Christina Aguilera sang “Say Something” while expecting her second child.Getty Images

On the day before Mother’s Day, an expectant Christina Aguilera performed her hit song “Say Something” with the group A Great Big World at KIIS-FM’s 2014 Wango Tango concert. She was pregnant with her second child and first with her fiancé Matthew Rutler. One month before the concert, she tweeted: “So blissful in taking this time for creating all things blossoming new on the horizon…album, baby & beautiful music to come.”

Kelly Clarkson

2015: Los Angeles concert

Kelly Clarkson didn’t expect to reveal her pregnancy when she took to the stage of Los Angeles’ Staples Center in August 2015 as part of her tour for the album Piece by Piece. But midway through her performance of that album’s title track, she became overwhelmed with emotions and said: “I was not planning on announcing this, but I’m totally pregnant.” After the crowd roared with delight, she added: “I’d like to apologize to my husband. That was not planned.”


2017: Grammy Awards

beyoncé performing on a stage while wearing a jewel encrusted gown and golden headpiece
Beyoncé performed while pregnant with twins during the 59th Grammy Awards on February 12, 2017.VALERIE MACON - Getty Images

Beyoncé delivered one of the most iconic moments of her storied career at the 59th Grammy Awards in February 2017, which marked her first public appearance since announcing she was expecting twins with her husband Jay-Z. During the show, she delivered a medley of songs from her acclaimed album Lemonade while wearing a now-famous jewel-encrusted gown and golden headpiece reminiscent of Cleopatra.

Cardi B

2018: Saturday Night Live

cardi b singing into a microphone on a stage while wearing a white dress that shows her pregnant belly
Cardi B performed on Saturday Night Live on April 7, 2018.NBC - Getty Images

After weeks of refusing to confirm pregnancy reports, rapper Cardi B put the rumors to bed when she appeared on an April 2018 episode of Saturday Night Live, wearing a white evening gown that showcased her baby bump. After the reveal, cultural critic Ronda Racha Penrice wrote: “Electing to become a mother amidst burgeoning superstardom is boldly unconventional. But so is most everything about Cardi’s rise.”

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