Singer Bruno Mars speaks at the Super Bowl half time press conference in New York
By Scott Malone
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pop star Bruno Mars knows he'll have a massive audience when he takes the stage for the halftime show at Sunday's Super Bowl, but the two-time Grammy Award winner told reporters beforehand he has no worries about the 80,000-strong crowd.
"I ain't scared," said the Hawaiian-born singer, who will be joined on stage at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey by the longtime alternative rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Mars, an R&B singer who follows performers including Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and Prince in performing at what is typically the most-watched U.S. sporting event, has offered few hints on what fans will see or hear on Sunday night.
"Spectacle-wise, I don't do trapeze and all that stuff," Mars told reporters this week, an apparent reference to the 2012 halftime performance, which featured Madonna and acrobats from Cirque du Soleil. "I hope to get people dancing and get people smiling. If you ever come to one of my shows, it's just us up there with our music and our instruments and I'm hoping that's enough."
Mars, whose album "Unorthodox Jukebox" was named best pop vocal album at the 2014 Grammys, said he is ready for the rigors of performing at the first outdoor cold-weather Super Bowl, joking that his trademark pompadour hairstyle will be held firmly in place by "three gallons of hair spray."
He said he was excited to be joined by the Chili Peppers, who have sold 60 million albums since their 1984 self-titled debut and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
"I've been a fan of theirs for such a long time," said Mars.
Fans will also hear soprano Renee Fleming who is scheduled to sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" before the game, backed by a symphony orchestra and singers from all four branches of the U.S. armed forces.
Fleming, with four Grammy Awards to her name, will be the first opera star to sing the national anthem before the NFL championship, a duty that normally falls to a pop singer. While she called the performance a heavy responsibility, she said she was confident about her ability to perform the anthem, which is technically challenging to sing.
"We belong to a tradition that's 400 years old that has range at the heart of it among other things and certainly it will be something quite different," Fleming said of her performance.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)