Bruno Mars has been nominated for 18 Grammys, toured the world and recorded two smash albums. But when he got the call asking if he’d play halftime at Sunday’s Super Bowl, the usually unflappable singer said he was a bit stunned.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Mars said during a press conference on Friday (January 30) when former Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams asked him for his reaction to getting the halftime invite. “We were all watching you as a band last year when you performed with Beyoncé and we were just like, ’Man, what if one day we get the call to do that?’ It definitely came soon, but just honored because some greats have been on that stage.”
Hawaiian-native Mars — who recalled doing a magic show for NFL cheerleaders when they were on the island for the Pro Bowl when he was a child — said he just started rehearsing a few nights ago, but has already been thrown off a bit by how cold it is in January in Jersey. “The microphone turns into a popsicle and all these things you don’t really think about going into it,” he said of the chilly temps at the first cold weather outdoor game in Super Bowl history.
A performer since childhood, Mars said he’s not really feeling the nerves yet and despite several requests he steadfastly refused to give up any surprises he has in store or reveal his pick to win the game. “I want the world to watch, it’s only a couple of days, they can hold tight,” he teased.
As far as the spectacle, well, he’s no Pink, so Mars said there won’t be any trapeze in his act. But he does hope to get people dancing and smiling, just like he does at one of his regular shows. He said the NFL asked if he’d like to have another band with him on stage and Mars explained that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were his first, and only, choice.
“I’ve been a fan of theirs for such a long time, I admire their career,” he said. “They’re a soulful band and not just musically, but as people … It’s an honor to be sharing a stage with them. They’re one of my personal favorite bands of all time.”
Asked to name his favorite halftime performers, Mars ticked off a list that included Beyoncé, Prince, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen. And when it comes to which teams he followed as a kid. “In Hawaii, it’s whoever has the most Polynesians on their team, that’s who we’re rooting for,” he said diplomatically.