In 2006 El Paso got its first taste of 18-year-old Rihanna. She performed here at the Brut Sun Bowl during halftime when Oregon State beat the Missouri Tigers. Pon de Replay had been a hit for over a year and S.O.S. was the song the high school seniors were getting ready to, but she was nowhere near the success she would achieve in her lifetime.

According to, it was the year 2007 when Rihanna became a household name. Coincidence or not, her popularity exploded right after her Brut Sun Bowl performance. Now she is slated to perform on one of the biggest stages of all time: The Super Bowl XVII Halftime show.

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There aren't too many videos of Rihanna and her Sun Bowl halftime gig, but here is one that definitely encapsulates the time... plus some clips of her performing.

The Sun Bowl is one of the most storied college bowl games in history. It's been happening since 1935, and along with the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl is the second-longest running ever. Since 2019 it's been the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl as the main sponsor is Kellogs.

I mean sure, Umbrella was one of her biggest hits and surely one of the greatest pop songs of all time, and that also came out in 2006. But that Sun Bowl Magic is real, ya'll. Right?

Regardless of what catapulted Rihanna to stardom, this performance was at a pivotal time and El Pasoans will never forget it. She has a sterling reputation for putting on a great show. Can't wait to see if she uses any of the moves she learned down in the Borderland over in Glendale.

Here is everything El Pasoans need to know about Super Bowl XVII, by the way, including that it's (yes) happening in Glendale, AZ this year.

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