The NFL has decided to go a little Unorthodox with its selection for the Super Bowl XLVIII headline act.
UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 8, at 12:50 p.m. ET
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The Los Angeles Times' Joe Flint and Gerrick D. Kennedy were first to report that the NFL has tapped singer-songwriter Bruno Mars for the sport's biggest event.
The Associated Press' NFL Twitter feed also says a source claims Mars will perform at halftime:
Neither the NFL nor Fox would confirm or deny the report when contacted. If the report has veracity, Mars' selection would come as a surprise to some. Super Bowl XLVIII will be held at the Meadowlands' Met-Life Stadium, so many expected a New Jersey-based appeal to the halftime festivities.
Acts like Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z have all been floated as possible ideas to satiate the New York/New Jersey fanbase.
However, selecting Mars would be the latest attempt by the NFL, which works in accordance with Pepsi to produce the show, to bring a more modern act to the sport's biggest stage. After a succession of older acts closed out the last decade, the NFL has branched out to appeal to the younger audience.
The Black Eyed Peas performed in 2011, Madonna graced the stage alongside a litany of today's acts like Nicki Minaj a year later, and Beyonce brought down the house with a Destiny's Child reunion this past February.
Mars isn't quite on those acts' level legacy-wise, but he's been a popular music tour de force since his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, dropped in 2010. Lead singles "Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade" from that album were both certified five-times platinum and spent multiple weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
A versatile act known for an ear for melody, Mars mixes classic R&B stylings with a mix of uptempo pop songs that take the radio by storm. He parlayed the success of Hooligans into his latest effort, 2012's Unorthodox Jukebox, which spawned two more No. 1 singles, "Locked Out of Heaven" and "When I Was Your Man."
Jukebox has sold more than 1.4 million copies in the United States, making it his second platinum album. Mars most recently performed his latest single "Gorilla" at the MTV Video Music Awards in August.
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