It’s official: Bruno Mars is your Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show musical performer.
The fedora-reviving former Elvis impersonator born Peter Hernandez confirmed the booking on FOX’s NFL Sunday program and via his Twitter account. Mars’ smoothly accomplished sophomore album, Unorthodox Jukebox, came out last last year, when it was one of SPIN’s 20 Best Pop Albums of 2012.
Online reaction to any news is rarely known for being favorable, but Mars’ selection has already raised more than the usual eyebrows. The Wall Street Journal‘s Speakeasy blog contrasts Mars with some recent Super Bowl halftime show guests — Beyoncé, Madonna, Prince, U2, the Who, Paul McCartney, Diana Ross — and asks of Mars, “Is he the right pop star for the gig?”
New Jersey and New York Twitter users, meanwhile, questioned the choice of the Hawaii-born singer — and not, say, someone more Jersey — to perform at the February 2, 2014, game in East Rutherford, New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. Entertainment Weekly helpfully compiles several reactions.
Still, Bey wasn’t from New Orleans, the site of last year’s Emmy-nominated Super Bowl halftime show. And the Journal‘s list of recent performers notably avoids mentioning the Black Eyed Peas — okay, maybe not a point in Mars’ favor. Still, as Billboard notes, Mars became a five-time Hot 100 chart-topper more quickly than any male artist since the King he once impersonated. Unorthodox Jukebox might’ve received even more critical acclaim had it come out earlier in 2012. And we already know Mars can put on impassioned live TV performances.
Most importantly, Mars probably won’t blow the Super Bowl lights out. And that might be just what the NFL is looking for this season.