Thirteen Minutes to Mars

Bruno Mars offered the best Super Bowl halftime show in recent memory.

So why in the world did the NFL interrupt him with the Red Hot Chili Peppers? The Washington Post‘s Chris Richards is probably right that they did not trust older viewers to know who Mars was. I guess the NFL is among the few media organizations that still cares about older viewers, but they needn’t have worried. Mars draws heavily from older styles for his music and, especially, his performance. His big hit, “Locked Out of Heaven,” sounds a lot like the Police. His style owes a lot to Jackie Wilson. And his fancy footwork (and splits) is pure James Brown.

I never knew Super Bowl halftime artists perform for free (I sure hope the NFL at least foots the production costs). But Sunday night’s performance is sure to pay off for Mars, both in music sales and, especially, ticket sales for his upcoming tour. If older performers did not know him before, they sure know him now.

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