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Bruno Mars, Renée Fleming talk about Sunday's Super Bowl XLVIII performances

Posted by Katie McLeod  January 30, 2014 02:20 PM

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Can viewers expect any spectacle from Super Bowl XLVIII halftime performer Bruno Mars on Sunday when the Denver Broncos play the Seattle Seahawks?

"I'm gonna give it all I got," the Grammy-winning artist said during a live press conference at the Rose Theater in New York City about the Pepsi halftime show. "Whatever happens, happens. I ain't scared if that's what you think." Noting he doesn't do trapeze or any of that stuff, Bruno said he wants to get people dancing, and hopes that's enough.

The "Locked Out of Heaven" singer, who said he's just honored to be there, spoke about what it was like watching Beyonce perform during last year's halftime show, thinking to himself how cool it would be to get that call someday, and then he got it sooner than he thought.

"I want the world to watch. It's only a couple days away," he said. And when pressed by a reporter about whether or not there would be any surprises on stage? He said people can hang tight to find out.

Bruno just won the best pop vocal album Grammy Award for ‘‘Unorthodox Jukebox’’ at the Jan. 26 ceremony.

As for sharing the stage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Bruno is excited to work with the band. He said the NFL asked who he might want to share the stage with, and the first band he thought of was the Chili Peppers. "It's an honor to be sharing the stage with them," he said, adding they're one of his personal favorite bands of all time.

"I feel still like a new artist," he said, going on to say he's grateful the NFL would give the new guy a shot. "I just know that I've always wanted to do music, no matter what."

When asked by a young reporter what advice he would give to kids, Bruno shared a quick response. "Don't let anyone ever try to stop you. That's what I had to face when I moved up to California," he said. "If you spend all your time focusing on your craft, then you have nowhere to go but up."

Bruno said his favorite past halftime performances have included Beyonce, Prince, and Bruce Springsteen.

Earlier in the press conference, singer Renée Fleming spoke about how honored she is to be the first opera singer to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl.

Fleming, who was introduced as the "Peyton Manning of the arts world," is no stranger to performing at high-profile events, including at Buckingham Palace, a gala for President Obama, a Washington Nationals opener, and Ground Zero at a memorial a month after Sept. 11, 2001, which she said was the most difficult performance she's ever done.

Fleming was asked by a reporter how she's feeling leading up to Sunday. "I haven't been sleeping as it is, and now I expect the next few nights to be pretty rough," she said. She explained that she works in a world that is completely no tech with zero amplification, and that she expects to be distracted by the amount of sound and the visual on the Jumbotron, though she's very excited about it. With the TV audience, this will be the largest event where Fleming has performed.

A Rochester native, Fleming thanked the city for preparing her to sing in the cold and said how good her hometown has been to her.

When asked whether singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl is a risk, Fleming responded, "It's an enormous risk, again because of the spotlight."

As for her rendition? "I really wanted to present it in a really serious way," she said, speaking about the arrangement by Rob Mathes. A recording of the New Jersey Symphony will accompany Fleming as she is joined by a 32-voice group from military choirs and choruses. She will be wearing Vera Wang during the performance, she added.

As for which team she's cheering on, Fleming said she's neutral about that and she's just excited to be here.

Will you watch? What do you think about the lineup of performers? The Super Bowl will take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and will be broadcast on Fox at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Watch Bruno Mars:

Watch Renée Fleming perform:

"Good Morning America" on Renée Fleming's Super Bowl performance:

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About Sound Effects

The latest news, commentary, and reviews on music in Boston and beyond.


Sarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.

James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.

Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.

Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.

Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.

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