In Defense of Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl

(GV Cruz/Getty Images for Atlantic Records)

(GV Cruz/Getty Images for Atlantic Records)

By Kevin Rutherford

This year’s Super Bowl halftime show was mired in controversy before it even began. After her lip-syncing fiasco at President Obama’s re-inauguration, Beyonce had to go big to show her detractors that, yes, she could sing live (um, duh). The year before, Madonna put forth a good showing at the halftime showcase, though M.I.A.‘s middle finger ended up the talk of the town. And then, of course, the less said about the Black Eyed Peas, the better.

For 2014, the NFL’s biggest spectacle may have found its knight in shining armor: a relevant, crowd-pleasing, modern pop artist whose back-to-basics musical and performance aesthetic is the shot in the arm the show needs.

Over the weekend, it was confirmed that Bruno Mars would be holding the reins for the Super Bowl’s halftime show this season. A minute-long clip posted to the pop singer’s YouTube account confirmed the decision, featuring footage of Mars from 1990 — when Mars was a four-year-old Elvis impersonator that toured the country and even got a brief role in the film Honeymoon in Vegas — to present.

By all accounts, Mars’ appointment as the next halftime performer makes sense. Lots and lots of sense, and not just from a demographics point of view, though it certainly does bode well in that particular arena.

Sure, the guy only has two albums to his credit, both coming in the last three years — 2010’s Doo-Wops & Hooligans and 2012’s  Unorthodox Jukebox. He’s certainly not the performer that’s going to be getting a Lifetime Achievement Award at the GRAMMYs or the VMAs anytime soon. Bruno’s a household name in pop these days, though not one of its all-consuming divas.

But boy, can the dude put on a straightforward, no-holds-barred performance.


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