(Rihanna, Coldplay perform at the 2012 Grammy Awards)
By John Mitchell
Rihanna stormed the Grammys stage on Sunday night with her new blonde do, kicking off her performance with the hit “We Found Love.” Ri Ri, started things off solo, with only a piano to accompany her, before she launched into a full out party with plenty of backup dancers around. Coldplay would later join her for their collaboration on “Princess of China.”
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 note with their song “Paradise” and fans took to Twitter to share their reactions.
chescaleigh can the beach boys teach rihanna how to stay on pitch? thx#grammys
Davisturbia Rihanna’s performance is the best so far @ Grammys 2012
NewDorkCity I hate to admit it, but Rihanna/Coldplay’s performance was pretty cool. I kinda like Coldplay. And their duet was nice. #GRAMMYs
BonnieMcKeee Dude @rihanna’s voice sounds amazing!! Get it girl! #Grammys
abbydavenport Rihanna really bugs me but at least she sounds good this year… well at first #grammys #DVRdelay
GQswaGGG Rihanna and Coldplay What a random collaboration ,but they actually sound good together I actually like this song #Grammys
kevingschmidt Rihanna & Coldplay = Awesomeness. #Grammys #InLove
MissSuccess This Rihanna/Coldplay performance was very well produced. I’m sold. #Grammys
jianghomeshi So the much publicized Rihanna-Coldplay #Grammys joint performance was Rihanna performing…and then Coldplay performing. *cough*
louisvirtel Rihanna and Chris Martin apparently believe “singing” is the same thing as “competitive weeping.” #Grammys