Rihanna Goes Global, Soaring in Worldwide Streams After Super Bowl Set

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On Feb. 12, Rihanna headlined the Super Bowl LVII halftime show in Glendale, Ariz., using less than 15 minutes of airtime to amplify her sprawling discography.

In a spur of debuts and re-entries, she logs 16 titles on the Feb. 25-dated Billboard Global 200 chart and nine on Billboard Global Excl. U.S., more than any other act on either of this week’s surveys. In all, they totaled 257.2 million streams worldwide in the week ending Feb. 16, according to Luminate.

American football is a specifically stateside sport, but the Super Bowl is a major pop cultural event. The NFL revealed that an estimated 208 million Americans watched this year’s game, while The Athletic estimates an additional 40 million viewers outside the United States.

All of those eyeballs on Rihanna created a firestorm of consumption worldwide. She properly performed 12 songs during her halftime set, and those dozen tracks averaged a week-to-week streaming increase of 231%.

Her hit parade is led by 2007’s “Umbrella,” featuring Jay-Z, debuting on the Global 200 at No. 32 and re-entering Global Excl. U.S. at No. 66. The classic spent three weeks on the latter chart in January 2021 but never hit the former until now.

2012’s “Diamonds” and 2011’s “We Found Love,” featuring Calvin Harris, both crack the top 50 of the Global 200, at Nos. 40 and 47, respectively, while arriving at Nos. 71 and 77 on Global Excl. U.S.

“Only Girl (In the World),” “B**** Better Have My Money,” and “Where Have You Been” debut further down both charts. “Work,” featuring Drake, “Run This Town,” with Jay-Z and Kanye West, and “Rude Boy” debut on the Global 200 while missing the Global Excl. U.S. ranking.

The superstar performed three other songs during her set – “Pour It Up,” her featured verse on DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts,” and her refrain from West’s “All of the Lights” – that miss both charts.

But while Rihanna’s hyper-curated setlist spurred chart activity for specific tracks, the performance also drew listeners to her entire discography, hungry to rediscover deeper hits as the seven-year gap since her last studio album continues to widen. She charted an additional seven songs from beyond her halftime performance. See below for a rundown of all of Rihanna’s globally charting hits on the latest lists.

The seven songs above that were not performed drew the smallest streaming bumps, up anywhere from a still notable 23% (“Lift Me Up”) to 107% (“Don’t Stop the Music”). Next are the songs that were performed that were generally expected to be performed, and therefore had already been picking up steam in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. “Umbrella” was up by 131%, “Diamonds” by 138%, “Only Girl (In the World)” by 159% and “We Found Love” by 160%.

Then, there are big-to-massive gains for songs that may have surprised fans with their inclusion and had smaller global streaming counts to begin with, and therefore more room to grow after last weekend’s exposure.

Among all Rihanna tracks, the seemingly NSFW “B**** Better Have My Money” got the biggest gain, up 594% globally to 14.7 million streams. “Pour It Up” followed, up 334%. Those songs’ original releases, in 2015 and 2012, respectively, predate Billboard’s global charts but they peaked outside the top 10 of the U.S.-based Billboard Hot 100, where Rihanna has 32 career top 10s. Including both in a tight 12-song set alongside six former No. 1s (and another three top five hits) ensured a massive resurgence.

Across the board, Rihanna’s gains in the U.S. were bigger than those beyond. That is to be expected considering that an estimated 80% of the viewing audience watched from somewhere in the U.S. Still, Rihanna’s 12 songs from the halftime show averaged a 201% gain in non-U.S. streams. That’s notably smaller than the 297% average domestic gain, but still enough to land more than a handful of songs on the Excl. U.S. ranking.Read more

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