Rihanna comes out of semi-retirement for Ambanis; read Western press reactions - Hindustan Times
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Rihanna comes out of semi-retirement for Anant Ambani's Jamnagar bash; here’s how the Western press reacted

Mar 03, 2024 01:34 PM IST

Singer Rihanna came out of her semi-retirement for her first concert in India at Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant’s pre-wedding festivities in Jamnagar.

Rihanna came out of her semi-retirement on March 1 to perform at Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant’s pre-wedding festivities in Jamnagar. If you don’t count her half-time show at the Super Bowl in 2023 (and it looks like the singer doesn’t!), it has been eight years since the R&B singer performed a full set. So it’s only natural that her performance caught a lot of attention, even from the foreign press. Take a look at some of the reactions. (Also Read: Rihanna reveals ‘only reason’ she left India post her performance at Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant's bash)

Mukesh Ambani, Isha Piramal, Rihanna, Shloka Mehta Ambani, Akash Ambani and Radhika Merchant on stage during pre-wedding celebrations of Anant and Radhika in Jamnagar(via REUTERS)
Mukesh Ambani, Isha Piramal, Rihanna, Shloka Mehta Ambani, Akash Ambani and Radhika Merchant on stage during pre-wedding celebrations of Anant and Radhika in Jamnagar(via REUTERS)

‘Rihanna performs first full concert in 8 years’

Billboard reported that Rihanna played 19 songs at the Friday night private gig for the Ambanis, noting that she hasn’t performed a full set since the Anti World Tour in 2016. They quoted her talking to the press after the performance and saying, “The show was the best. I haven’t done a real show in eight years.” She performed numbers like B**** Better Have My Money, Work, Umbrella, Stay, All of the Lights, We Found Love and Diamonds.

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‘Rihanna had to make up for lost revenue’

Vulture noted that the first concert Rihanna performs in years happens to be ‘for the wealthy.’ They wrote, “Her last performance was at the Superbowl, which didn’t pay anything, so she has to make up potential lost revenue from the free show somehow.” The website also questioned why Rihanna was paid a ‘measly $6M when she has a net worth of $1.4 billion,’ speculating that it was probably because of her beauty brand Fenty and the Ambanis’ Sephora India.

‘Rihanna’s performance left everyone without an invite green with envy’

Rihanna's performance for the private pre-wedding bash of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s son left everyone without an invite green with envy - wrote Variety. The website noted that she ‘borrowed’ some of the dance moves choreographed by Parris Goebel, adding that she sang Work, Wild Thoughts, Birthday Cake, Pour It Up, and Pose ‘in the same order’ she did back then. Despite no wardrobe changes, they noted that she did close the night adding a ‘hot pink headpiece.’

Rihanna poses for a picture as she leaves India after performing at Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant's pre-wedding celebrations in Jamnagar.(ANI)
Rihanna poses for a picture as she leaves India after performing at Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant's pre-wedding celebrations in Jamnagar.(ANI)

‘Dreams came to reality at Anant’s pre-wedding bash’

Harper’s Bazaar wrote that along with the perfect dress, sweet vows and celebrating with loved ones, a famous celebrity performance is also something that most brides fantasise about. They wrote, “Within the depths of my wildest thoughts, I also indulge in imagining my favourite artists commemorating the milestone with a performance. Last night, those dreams became a reality for Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant, whose wedding activities included a private show from Rihanna.”

‘Rihanna wasn’t there just to perform’

People wrote of not just Rihanna’s performance, but also about how she mingled with guests at the pre-wedding bash, even shaking a leg with Janhvi Kapoor on Zingaat. They wrote, “The Love on the Brain singer wasn’t just there as a performer. She was captured in one video posted on X shaking her hips alongside actress Janhvi Kapoor. The pair smiled while shimmying together. In another video shared on X, Rihanna sang and danced along to Miley Cyrus’ song Party in the USA in front of a DJ booth.”

‘Rihanna ridiculed for lacklustre performance’

Page Six said that some netizens thought Rihanna’s performance was ‘lacklustre despite being paid $6 million.’ Rihanna critics don’t think she put any work into her recent performance, they wrote. They quoted one netizen commenting, “She got that coin and said f–k y’all ima do what I can,” while another wrote, “I’ve always said she’s an incredibly lazy performer…..she never took the time to improve her performances.”

‘Rihanna left with a fat paycheck and a swag bag’

TMZ wrote that Rihanna was ‘absolutely glowing’ after her private concert and that ‘she even left the gig with some parting gifts to go along with an astronomical payday.’ They wrote that the guests included everyone from Ivanka Trump to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, adding, “Not that we've been in that situation, but we're guessing when you attend a party thrown by the 11th richest man in the world, everyone – even the headliner – leaves with a badass swag bag.” They also speculated that the might have been paid more than what’s being reported ‘because the show was so long.’

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