Rihanna Shuts Down 'SNL' Finale With 'Bitch Better Have My Money' & 'American Oxygen' Performances

by Emily Krauser 10:45 AM PDT, May 17, 2015
Photo: NBC

If you want your show to end with a bang, Rihanna is definitely the girl you call.

As the musical performer for Saturday Night Live's Season 40 finale, she reminded us all why she's got an entire Rihanna Navy at her beck and call.

Rihanna opened with "Bitch Better Have My Money," singing from a getaway car while being chased by cops on the darkened stage. There was even a kidnapped victim in the backseat, a nod to the line "your wife in the backseat of my foreign car," who she literally nods at during the song.

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An entire crew dissembles the car around Rihanna as she continues to sing, making room for the dancers in matching jail break outfits who join the Barbados native for the second half of 'BBHMM.'

It was a nice change to see an artist truly make a set out of the SNL stage, as opposed to just adding in a standard pretty back drop (if they even do that), but the real highlight was seeing how much Rihanna enjoyed being up there. At the end of the dance number, she lets a huge grin slip and plays air guitar with her band.

Rihanna knew she killed it.

The 27-year-old singer chose her newest single, "American Oxygen," as her second song of the night.

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Both the political tune and stage set-up were like a dream mashup of Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Kanye West. Iconic American moments were projected on three screens behind a silhouetted Rihanna as she belted out lyrics like "every breath I breathe / chasing this American dream" and "we are the new America."

Her performance makes us want to drive across the county with our fists held high and pretend we're at Woodstock, which we'll do by stealing the floor-length fringed coat and vintage Napier necklace from EraLuxe that Rihanna performed in. She won't mind, right?

The Barbados native debuted "American Oxygen" at the March Madness Music Festival in Indianapolis in April and released the music video for the tune -- which, like her SNL performance, is filled with historical photos -- on Tidal (she's a co-owner of the music subscription service).

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Normally we also get to see a Rihanna cameo during one of the show's sketches, but with two elaborate performances on the night, we get why she stuck to singing for her fifth SNL stint.

Now we just wish there were three performances to relive…