Sprawled out on the floor under a red light and accompanied at first by just a piano, Rihanna hit the stage at the 54th Grammy Awards for a dance-heavy take on her massive #1 hit “We Found Love.”
The performance kicked off like a scene straight out of the thematically dark video for the track , with the Barbadian pop star leaning against a wall looking troubled under dark lighting with only a piano playing alongside her as she sang the track like a torch ballad. Looking gorgeous — and giving off a Tina Turner vibe — Rihanna rocked the blond locks she introduced recently, wearing a tight, belly-baring ensemble.
The laser lights, LED screens and synths kicked up soon enough, though, and Rihanna welcomed dancers to the stage and lit into a high-energy performance of the dance smash that kept with the feel of the song, devolving into a full-on rave, with the pop star front and center.
Like many other performers and presenters at the show, Rihanna took a moment to honor the late Whitney Houston , demanding the audience, “Make some noise for Whitney!”
Soon, the tempo backed down and the dancers departed, leaving Rihanna onstage with just Chris Martin strumming an acoustic guitar. The pair then started into the televised debut of their Mylo Xyloto collaboration “Princess of China.”
“Her bit on our record is my favorite bit. When the song came out, it sort of asked for her to be on it,” Chris Martin told MTV News of the pop princess’ involvement last fall. “And I think at this point, we have nothing to lose, and so we’ve been trying some new things and trying to break down the perceived boundaries between different types of music.”
Coldplay finished things up on an upbeat not with their song “Paradise.”