“We just got that phone call and they started scoping me out,” he says. “They were coming to my shows, I guess, and they popped the question. It’s one of those things where I feel like it’s early on in my career, but … it’s definitely something on a bucket list. It’s the biggest stage ever. It’s something you’re not gonna say no to.”
As is the custom with Super Bowl halftime acts, Mars did not get paid an appearance fee for his efforts, confirmed a league spokesperson. The NFL did cover the usual setup, travel and lodging costs for the singer and his team, and that is not small change.
Mars’ payment came in the form of exposure. He played what amounted to a 12-minute commercial for himself, which both boosted sales for his concert tickets, albums and merchandise (for context, a 30-second ad costs about $4 million this year). Billboardreported a jump of 164% in sales of “Jukebox”.
His selection surprised some observers, given that the last two years’ performers—Madonna and Beyoncé—had both been international superstars for many years before playing the Super Bowl. Why didn’t the league pick another name like that?
In just four years’ time, Mars has rocketed from being a struggling songwriter to cementing his status as one of the top acts in pop music today. On top of releasing a pair of platinum-selling albums, he’s been nominated for 18 Grammy awards and won two, including Best Pop Vocal Album for Unorthodox Jukebox at last week’s ceremony.
“[My band and I] were all watching Beyoncé perform last year,” he says. “We were just blown away. We said, ‘Wow, what if one day we got the call to play that show?’”
It’s New York baby, it’s where dreams come true, and for Bruno Mars, not only did he get to play the Super Bowl Halftime show, he did it in New York city. Start spreading the news his tour is about to roll-out.