Grammy winner Bruno Mars will share the stage with legendary band Red Hot Chili Peppers to entertain the crowd during this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show. In the past, Madonna, Beyoncé, Paul McCartney, Prince, and The Who have given fans stellar performances, but in other years wardrobe malfunctions and lackluster halftime productions have created headlines for reasons other than the music. What is the formula for a successful halftime lineup, and have the show’s decision-makers made the right selections this year?
The National Football League Network’s Senior Vice President of Production and Programming, Mark Quenzel, reports that Bruno Mars was the NFL’s number one choice. With an expected viewership of somewhere around 100 million people, the selection crew, led by Mr. Quenzel, believes that Bruno Mars is the “contemporary artist” best equipped to anchor the full 12-minute slot. Despite the vocalized opinions of many NFL devotees who question the choice of young Bruno Mars over a Jersey (the site of Super Bowl XLVIII) native, like Jon Bon Jovi or Bruce Springsteen, the committee wanted Bruno Mars.
Shortly after the NFL announced that Bruno Mars would lead the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show, the addition of the long-standing group, the Red Hot Chili Peppers was also announced. To the surprise of almost everyone involved, the call to the Chili Peppers came from Bruno Mars, not the NFL. Apparently Mr. Mars felt as though the addition of the proven rock band would up the entertainment value of the halftime show.
In addition to 18-time Grammy nominee Bruno Mars and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members the Red Hot Chili Peppers, this year’s Super Bowl will also include other unorthodox yet promising performances. Right before kickoff of the 48th annual Super Bowl, The Star Spangled Banner will be sung by soprano Renée Fleming, backed by the New Jersey Symphony. In past years, the National Anthem has been sung by a performer or group who topped the musical charts, so the choice of an opera singer is shaking things up a bit. Instead of Cher, Whitney Houston, Faith Hill, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, the Dixie Chicks, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey, Harry Connick, Jr., Neil Diamond, Jewel, or Diana Ross, Renée Fleming will introduce the game.
Also on deck, Queen Latifah, the New Jersey Youth Chorus, and a group of helicopters to perform America The Beautiful. According to SPIN, in Queen Latifiah’s return to the song (also performed in 2010), the military air vehicles will be timed to fly over MetLife Stadium during the song’s final notes. In a “V formation,” several Black Hawks, Apache helicopters, and Chinook heavy-lifters will delight the crowd and add a visual effect to the powerful anthem. From there, the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos will be responsible for the entertainment through the first half of the game.
After the stage is set up, Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will put on their version of the Super Bowl Halftime Show. With Groundhog Day (Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter), Super Bowl Sunday, an action-packed halftime show, and the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, all within one 24-hour period, the action of February 2 might just be a roller coaster of emotions that then ends with a new Super Bowl champion. Tune in to FOX at 6:30pm EST to watch Super Bowl XLVIII and the live performances, all taking place at MetLife Stadium.
By K. Corrine Van Vliet