By Alan Duke
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Grammy-winning pop singer Bruno Mars will deliver the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show next February, the NFL announced Sunday.
Mars appeared live on “Fox NFL Sunday” for the announcement just before the kickoff of the first week of Sunday afternoon games in the regular season.
The Super Bowl is still five months away, but early start of the publicity campaign for the halftime show is evidence that the entertainment rivals the actual game for attention.
“The Pepsi Super Bowl halftime show is the most-watched musical event of the year,” the NFL news release said. “More than 110.5 million viewers in the U.S. watched last year’s show.”
Beyonce’s performance at the last Super Bowl was critically acclaimed by fans. Previous acts include Madonna, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and U2.
Michael Jackson’s performance at Super Bowl XXVII in 1993 is credited with launching the tradition of blockbuster halftime shows.
Mars — born Peter Gene Hernandez in Hawaii 27 years ago — was just 4 when he began performing in his family’s show as an Elvis impersonator.
He moved to Los Angeles as a young adult to write and produce for other artists, but his last three years have been his most successful.
His debut album for Atlantic Records, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” includes “Just The Way You Are,” which won him a Grammy for best male pop vocal performance in 2010. The album and his hit single “Grenade” were nominated for three Grammys in 2011.
His second album, “Unorthodox Jukebox,” includes the hits “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man.”
Mars has been nominated for 14 Grammys and has sold over 115 million singles.
He has been touring the world with his eight-piece band, The Hooligans.
Fox Sports urged fans to stay tuned throughout the season “to see what surprises Bruno Mars has in store for this historic halftime show.”
The next Super Bowl is set for MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday, February 2, 2014.
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