Super Bowl Halftime Show 2014: Where Bruno Mars Ranks Among Recent Performers

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2014

Bruno Mars performs at IHeartRadio Music Festival, day 2, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision /AP)
Powers Imagery/Associated Press

The Super Bowl halftime show has evolved into one of the biggest musical events of the entire year. This means Bruno Mars has a lot to live up to as host of Super Bowl XLVIII.

What started as a showcase for college marching bands has turned into compilations of the best acts in the world. Although many of the shows have featured acts that are a little past their prime, almost everyone who steps on that stage is an established household name.

Even with help from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who will be joining him on stage, this means Mars has some big shoes to fill.

So where does Mars rank among performers in recent history? We do not yet know what kind of performance the young singer will put together, but his presence alone puts him among the best artists ever to play at this prestigious event.  

Not only does Bruno Mars have a huge following, but he is still entering his prime on the international scene. With this in mind, here are the details for Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, followed by a closer look at the biggest performers since 2000.


Date: Sunday, Feb, 2

Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Start Time: 6:30 p.m. ET

TV Info: Fox

Live Stream: Fox Sports Go

Spread (Bovada): Denver -3


5. Prince, Super Bowl XLI

CHRIS O'MEARA/Associated Press

As far as performances in the past decade go, it is hard to match Prince's show in 2007. He not only thrilled die-hard fans with his own songs "Let's Go Crazy" and "Purple Rain," but he also did a magnificent job on covers of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" and the Foo Fighters' "Best of You."

Last year, Billboard ranked the show as the top Super Bowl halftime performance of all time, saying Prince "had the stadium full of testosterone-pumped football fanatics waving their arms and howling in falsetto."

However, the artist was more than a few years removed from his heyday in the early 1980s. When he was announced, it was certainly a curious choice that many did not agree with, especially after the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" just three years earlier.

The excitement surrounding Prince's performance came after, instead of before, in this case.


4. Beyonce, Super Bowl XLVII

Beyonce broke onto the music scene as part of Destiny's Child before becoming a solo star. When she got the chance to perform on the biggest stage of her career last year, however, she brought back her friends Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. 

This spoiler was released before the start of the show, and the buzz got plenty of people excited about the event.

Of course, Beyonce can draw quite a crowd on her own. The singer and actress has created an empire with her fans following her every step. Recently, she was named half of the most powerful couple in music along with her husband by Billboard (h/t USA Today), Jay-Z.

After many years of older acts (excluding the Black Eyed Peas), Beyonce once again made it worthwhile for the NFL to bring in artists from a younger generation.


3. Bruno Mars, XLVIII

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Singer Bruno Mars performs on the T-Mobile Magenta Carpet stage before the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees t
Wendi Kaminski/Getty Images

Although an older generation of football fans might not yet know who he is, Bruno Mars certainly is coming to stay. With a number of top hits like "Locked Out of Heaven" and "Grenade," the 28-year-old singer continues to gain fans worldwide.

Additionally, the artist has received plenty of critical acclaim for his work. He was named by Forbes as music's brightest young star on its annual "30 Under 30" list. Billboard also named him Artist of the Year in 2013.

No matter what he does during his performance, he will have millions of screaming fans watching his every move.

Adding 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to the mix is a smart move that will appeal to a broader audience as well. The result is one of the more highly anticipated musical events in recent memory. 


2. Rolling Stones, Super Bowl XL

Sure, this breaks the "past their prime" rule, but the Rolling Stones remain one of the most popular bands of all time. The group that formed in 1962 is still touring the world, and each ticket will still set you back a couple of hundred bucks for the cheap seats.

As long as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards keep singing, playing and dancing, people will continue to dream about seeing the historic band play just one time.

Of course, the show itself was relatively underwhelming, only playing three songs in a censored set. This left out dozens of the band's most popular releases, while including only "Rough Justice," "Satisfaction" and "Start Me Up."

Still, the Rolling Stones were enough to get almost every football fan excited about the performance, which is really one of the biggest goals of the halftime show. 


1. Aerosmith, 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly, Super Bowl XXXV

Looking back, you cannot help but laugh at some of the acts that were popular in 2001. However, pretty much everyone on stage was among the biggest stars in the world at the time. 

Britney Spears and 'N Sync brought millions of young fans that truly had no interest in the game itself, and it made the halftime show into a true spectacle. Additionally, Aerosmith was going through a renaissance at the time, thanks to the popularity of the 1988 Armageddon movie soundtrack.

When the acts came together in the halftime finale to sing "Walk This Way," it created a truly memorable moment featuring the most recognizable musicians around.

Although this does not mean much for NFL fans watching the Baltimore Ravens dominate the New York Giants, but it was certainly the best selection of performers since 2000.


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