Lost amid the Seattle Seahawks thrilling, dominating victory over the Denver Broncos was a stellar performance by Bruno Mars. The producer and pop singer wasn’t the most obvious choice for the Super Bowl halftime show, as one fawning article from USA Today pointed out.
A quick look at some of the huge names that have graced the halftime stage before confirms that: Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson (the infamous wardrobe malfunction incident), Bruce Springsteen, Madonna — just to name a few of music’s biggest stars who have the Super Bowl on their resumes.
Mars and his eight-member band came out dressed like Motown stars and proceeded to put on one of the more memorable halftime shows in recent memory. By the time Mars’ broke out his James Brown dance moves and introduced the Red Hot Chili Peppers (looking straight out of 1999, the last time Denver was in the Super Bowl), he’d won the crowd over. The bluster of the RHCP’s “Give It Away” finally faded and gave way to Mars’ “Just The Way You Are,” which was dedicated to armed forces members and their families.
Twitter took note, with 2.2 million tweets being sent during Mars’ performance. Everyone from Steve Harvey (“@BrunoMars Is a mini #MichaelJackson ….. Real Fire OMG #HalfTimeShow #SuperBowlXLVIII #NFL”) to Carrie Underwood (“The whole #halftimeshow was pretty awesome! Well done @BrunoMars”) took to Twitter to express themselves in 140-character bursts.
Mars might not have been a household name, just like some of the unsung heroes of Seattle’s scary defense. But just like guys like Michael Smith, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, Mars woke up today with millions more knowing exactly who he is.
The timing is perfect, too. Tickets for his new tour go on sale today.
-Owen R. Smith, on Twitter @inanedetails