Soulful singer-songwriter Bruno Mars was named Sunday to headline Super Bowl XLVIII, which will kick off on Feb. 2 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The announcement came amid great fanfare during the Fox NFL Sunday broadcast, which was held live from Times Square in New York City and hyped the first full weekend of the pro-football season. Mars' selection had been predicted by The Times on Friday.
According to the NFL, Super Bowl halftime shows are the most-watched live music concerts on TV. Previous performers have included Prince, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen and U2. Beyonce Knowles was the featured singer this year, and her performance attracted more than 110 million viewers.
After the announcement about Mars, the R&B singer tweeted, "WE'RE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!!!!!! #PepsiSBHalftime," and then "Hooligans we did it!" (Hooligans is the name of his band.)
Super Bowl XLVIII is particularly anticipated this season since the game itself will be played in an open-air stadium in an area vulnerable to snow and ice, which could make for an exciting, or at least unusual, game. (Think "Snow Bowl," the famous 2002 AFC championship between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders during a heavy snow storm in which Patriot's kicker Adam Vinatieri nailed a 23-yard field goal in overtime to win a trip to the Super Bowl.)
Mars' inclusion in America's most-watched sporting event caps a great summer for the singer, who just concluded a nearly two and a half month tour and is about to go out on the road again in October to play two months of shows in Europe.