Rihanna Reborn: How A Megastar Became A Mother

“Rockstar hours!” she announces, laughing. I must say Rihanna is looking especially marvellous tonight.

She’s in the middle of intense rehearsals for 12 February’s Super Bowl show, the latest round of which ran past midnight, hence the hour. But, oh, the fizzing star quality.

Espresso in hand, wearing baggy dark denim Celine jeans, a black Stüssy hoodie beneath an oversized tiger-print fleece from Ashley Williams,

there is not a hint of the baby bump she will have cooked to perfection for its internet-breaking reveal at her Super Bowl set in five weeks’ time.

Still, with not a squirt of make-up on, she exudes a kind of school-gates glamour. And this is Rihanna. “A few little leftover diamonds,” she coos,

seeing my eyes bug at the row of juicy sparklers she is wearing down each ear.

“The ones that they didn’t send the armed guards for,” she adds, dryly. “Yo, clock strikes 12. Cinderella, the night is over.”

The “night” in question was 36 hours ago – the Golden Globes, where she was a nominee – but as someone whose dial setting is prone to “fabulous”, she says she wasn’t ready to part with the gems yet.

Guards be damned. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to encounter a person so joyfully intoxicated by beauty.

She has swapped out the dramatic, off-the-shoulder black velvet Schiaparelli couture gown she wore, but kept the intricate hairstyling from the Globes going too,

her head haloed by a series of delicate rolls. “Right? I can’t believe it,” she says with near childlike delight as she gently touches a finger to her hair in the pre-dawn quiet. “It stayed.”

It seems that, in the last few months, Rihanna’s life has turned so fully on its head that a great hair moment now has the unique allure of forgotten pleasure.

Since she gave birth to a baby boy last May, the 35-year-old Barbadian musician and entrepreneur has been about as off-grid as she gets –

perhaps the most off-grid since she became a star in her mid-teens. Cocooned with Rocky, baby and their families,

on vintage form she likened the postpartum emotional rewire to “tripping on acid” when interviewed at a Savage X Fenty lingerie show in New York last autumn.

Aside from that appearance, a smattering of social media posts, the release of two new songs that bookended the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack at the end of the year

(“Lift Me Up” is up for best original song at the Oscars next month), Rihanna has been minding her beauty empire as well as readying herself for the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show.

As ever, rumours percolate about an eventual tour and, yes, a ninth studio album. Oh, and she quietly got pregnant again.

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