Bruno Mars ready to brave cold during halftime show

NEW YORK — Everyone is in Bru­no Mars’ ear about one thing when it comes to the Super Bowl halftime show: How will you deal with the freezing cold?


“Everyone’s putting the fear in God in me like there’s going to be a blizzard,” Mars said from Los Angeles, asking about the weather conditions in the New York-New Jersey area for his “research.”

“I’m going to wear a beekeeper suit, I don’t know,” he answered about how he will keep warm when he performs tonight. “I’m not going to know until I get there … I’m not trying to hype myself up too much.

“I know it’s going to be cold and I just got to face it.”

The 28-year-old pop crooner, whose hits range from Grenade to Locked Out of Heaven, typically performs with a full band as he sings, dances and strums the guitar on stage. Mars’ performance at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., follows Beyonce’s electrifying set last year, where she danced tightly and sang powerfully, with the help of background dancers and Destiny’s Child at the big game in New Orleans.

Lee Anne Callahan-Longo, the general manager of Beyonce’s production house Parkwood Entertainment, said performing in cold weather creates many challenges.

“It makes it harder to sing. It certainly makes it harder on a woman for choosing wardrobe. It can be really cold out there,” she said. “But I think once you get on stage and your adrenaline gets pumping, it doesn’t matter. They get in the zone.

“Most artists get in the zone once they start their performance. And if you’re professional, you do what you need to do.”

Katy Perry echoed Callahan-Longo’s thoughts.

“The weather affects your vocal cords and if you’re playing guitar you can’t wear mittens, you know, and your fingers are hitting these strings that are cold as well,” she said. “I’ve been in some situations where it just like dries out your voice – the cold does. It’s not
where you shine your best, but you do what you have to do.”

Mars understands that his Su­per Bowl stint is massively high profile and could boost the pop star – who has two platinum albums, many radio hits and sold-out international tours – to new heights.

Mars debuted on the music scene in 2010 with B.o.B’s Nothin on You and Travie McCoy’s Billionaire – multi-platinum hits Mars sang on, co-wrote and co-produced. He went on to release his debut single, Just the Way You Are, months after, topping the charts on his own and earning his first Grammy Award.

Mars’ debut, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, launched back-to-back hits and reached near double platinum status, and last year’s Un­orthodox Jukebox won the best pop vocal album Grammy last week.

“When we got that phone call, again, what do you say? ‘Nah.’ What do you say? ‘Ab­so­lute­ly. Let’s rock,’ ” he said. “It was something exciting for me and my (band). It wasn’t too long ago when we were performing in clubs and bars and pubs, and even when I put (my first) album out, (we were) opening acts for a bunch of different artists, living in a van and traveling around and kind of putting in the work and time. It might seem fast to the outsider looking in, but you know, it’s just another thing we can celebrate and I feel like as a group we all achieved it together.”

Mars, who was named Bill­board’s top artist of the year, said while the crazy weather conditions somewhat frighten him, he’ll pull through.

“You know what, it’s awesome. … Even if I have to build a chimney on stage, perform around a fire, I’ll do it,” he said.

His peers have his back, including Kelly Rowland, who was part of Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance along with Michelle Wil­liams.

“He is going to be great. Trust me. Bruno Mars will find a way to stay warm. He’s so hot,” Rowland said. “He’s going to be just fine.”

What about Beyonce?

“No, you got her number?” a laughing Mars said of getting advice from the diva.


NEW YORK — The Super Bowl will have a touch of the classical this year: Opera star Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem.

The four-time Grammy winner is the first opera star to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. In recent years, it has been performed mainly by a mix of pop and country stars.

Known as “The People’s Diva,” the soprano is closely identified with the New York City region, having spent years singing on iconic stages such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Last year, she received the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor the government gives to artists.

Fleming, who lives in New York City, sang the national anthem before Game 2 of the 2003 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

– Associated Press