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Bruno Mars is Billboard's Artist of the Year

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First he gets that Super Bowl slot, now this: Bruno Mars has been named Billboard’s Artist of the Year, beating out Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and other pop stars who grabbed headlines in 2013.

Apparently, the charts mattered more than media attention this year. Mars came in at No. 1 on eight of Billboard’s year-end lists, including “Hot 100 Artists,” “Top Overall Artists,” “Hot 100 Singles Airplay,” “Hot Digital Songs,” “Mainstream Top 40″ and “Pop Digital Songs” with tracks from his 2012 album Unorthodox Jukebox, which includes hits “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Treasure,” and “When I Was Your Man.”  

“Mars’ artist of the year nod may come as a surprise,” Billboard admits in its year-end issue. “But as if on a stealth mission, the adventurous Unorthodox Jukebox commanded a steady presence on the Billboard 200 following its No. 2 debut last December.” After that, the piece notes, the album hung onto the top 20 every week through Sept. 14, landing at No. 1 in its 12th week. It has sold 1.8 million copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

Mars’ Moonshine Jungle world tour also ranked in the Top 25 tours of the year. He’ll be back on the road on Feb. 28, though the tour stops are still yet to be announced.

More on EW.com
Bruno Mars is not ‘Jersey’ enough to play Super Bowl halftime, says Twitter
Bruno Mars confirmed for Super Bowl: What can we expect?
Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl: Why choosing him makes good (business) sense

Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl: Why choosing him makes good (business) sense

There are still nearly four months left in 2013, but we already know what the most-watched musical performance of next year is going to be.

Over the weekend, the NFL announced that the next Super Bowl Halftime Show performer will be Bruno Mars. He’ll take the stage midway through football’s championship game on February 2 inside MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (home to both the New York Giants and the undefeated New York Jets).

There are a number of names that were tossed out as alternatives to Mars, the most popular being Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Jay Z. But there are compelling reasons for all three of those to be avoided, if they were even considered: Springsteen did the halftime show too recently (remember when he crushed that camera with his crotch?), Bon Jovi seems to be in flux (who knows if the Richie Sambora situation will be resolved by February), and Jay Z is way too polarizing for an event of this size and scale (even with his nods to big business, he remains too risky a figure for this stage as far as the check writers are concerned).

Really, Mars is the biggest pop star to never have done the halftime show, save for maybe Taylor Swift (who seems like a lock to do this show some day). And his resumé is chock full of qualifications for one of music’s biggest gigs: He has two chart-topping albums, five Hot 100 number ones, has shifted over 115 million singles, and has already performed on the Grammys, the VMAs, and Saturday Night Live. He’s a bona fide superstar, and yet the overwhelming reaction to the announcement that he got the gig has been negative: He’s not a representative of New Jersey (or New York), he’s simultaneously too young and too old; he’s too short.

But really, the selection of Mars should not be surprising to anybody. The Super Bowl is, primarily, a massive business opportunity for advertisers, media outlets, corporate sponsors, and the NFL itself, and Mars represents a shrewd business solution: He’s famous and an excellent live performer, but most importantly, he sounds like someone your mom would like.

That last piece of criteria is the most important: Since the Super Bowl is the most-watched television event of the year (and many broadcasts have become the most-watched television event of all time, at the time), programmers have to assume that there are people watching who don’t normally watch football and don’t pay close attention to music.

That’s why the game itself is weighed down with non-sports-related tie-ins, why the commercials have been built into the entertainment, and why the halftime music tends to skew towards the broadest selections.  READ FULL STORY

Bruno Mars is not Jersey enough to play Super Bowl halftime, says Twitter

We all know there’s no pleasing Twitter, but the news of Bruno Mars playing the Super Bowl halftime show really got the micro-blogging site riled up — especially the New Jersey/New York contingent.

See, Super Bowl XLVIII is at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets, and a vocal group of fans thinks one of that region’s iconic artists — especially Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, or Bon Jovi — should have gotten the gig instead. Of course, the Super Bowl is the most-watched TV event of the year and reaches every corner of the United States, so to choose the musical act regionally really isn’t necessary. Last year’s Bowl was in New Orleans, but Houston native Beyoncé — not, say, Harry Connick Jr. or Lil Wayne — performed during halftime.

But let’s give the Twitter masses the floor to state their case:
READ FULL STORY

Bruno Mars confirmed for Super Bowl: What can we expect?

It was reported upon speculation yesterday, but now it’s official: Bruno Mars will be performing at the Super Bowl halftime show next year on Feb. 2.

The official announcement came moments before the NFL season’s first Sunday games began, but since we’ve had a day or so to digest this information, it’s time to start wondering what it all means.

For one thing, Mars will be the youngest performer in recent years to helm the world’s most-watched musical event. The past decade’s list of main acts have included Beyoncé, Prince, the Who, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul McCartney — all of whom have had slightly-to-significantly more experience than the 27-year-old Mars. (He’ll be 28 by next February.)

Plus, Mars only has two albums so far to cull songs from; most performers have much more of a back catalog to pick through. (His second record, Unorthodox Jukebox, dropped last December.) Of course, he’s not short on radio hits — from “Grenade” to “When I Was Your Man,” he’s got plenty of surefire crowd-pleasers to choose from. Yet the announcement also allows speculation as to whether he might release new music by then, giving him something further to promote in front of a global stage.

READ FULL STORY

Bruno Mars to perform at Super Bowl half time show

Grammy-winner Bruno Mars will sing at halftime of the Super Bowl in February, a person familiar with the NFL’s entertainment plans told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. The official word is expected to come at an event in New York’s Times Square on Sunday.

The NFL’s regular season began Thursday, and the first full slate of games is Sunday.

The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Halftime shows have drawn more than 100 million television viewers in the United States alone in past years.
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TV Jukebox -- Super Bowl commercials edition: Rolling Stones, Psy, Hans Zimmer and more

PSY-PISTACHIOS-JUKEBOX

When it comes to all the forms of entertainment in the Super Bowl telecast, music completes the package. No, we’re not talking about Beyonce’s halftime show. We’re talking about the tunes in all those commercials.

The music in this year’s Big Game ads was a mix of recent hits and decades-old classics. Appropriate for one of America’s biggest partying days, the song choices were mostly upbeat and celebratory, but there were a few more emotional tracks as well.

Here EW presents to you a special edition of TV Jukebox with those Super Bowl commercials in the spotlight. Check out our picks and Spotify playlist below. READ FULL STORY

Beyonce, Destiny's Child get big post-Super Bowl bumps on iTunes

Ray Lewis and Oreo weren’t the only winners to come out of Super Bowl XLVII.

After delivering a nearly universally beloved performance at the halftime show last night, Beyoncé and her fellow X-Men Destiny’s Child colleagues scored big boosts on the charts today.

At the time of this post, a bevy of Bey albums and singles, as well as a handful of Destiny’s Child releases, have rocketed up to the list of iTunes’ top downloads.

READ FULL STORY

Beyonce announces Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, dates -- VIDEO

beyonce-world-tour_510x660And you thought “Queen B” was just a nickname.

Shortly after her triumphant, Destiny’s Child-reuniting, Superdome power-destroying halftime show, Her Majesty Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter I revealed that she will soon embark on a royal tour of her fabulous domain — a.k.a. the whole wide world, or at least Europe and North America. Interestingly enough, Bey chose to announce her tour in the same way as last year’s halftime show performer while also using imagery heavily associated with a certain rival queen.

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Justin Timberlake performs new songs off upcoming album at pre-Super Bowl party

Justin Timberlake isn’t taking the field at Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show, but he did take the stage at a pre-Super Bowl party in New Orleans Saturday night. There were no wardrobe malfunctions reported (phew!) but Timberlake did take the opportunity to debut two new tracks from his upcoming album to luck partygoers. The songs, “That Girl” and “Little Pusher Lover Girl” were caught on video. Watch them below:
READ FULL STORY

Beyonce sings the national anthem live at Super Bowl press conference -- VIDEO

Are you a Beyliever now?

Over a week after the world learned that Beyoncé had lip-synched “The Star-Spangled Banner” at President Obama’s second inauguration, the diva finally admitted publicly this afternoon that she did, in fact, use a backing track during her performance. “I am a perfectionist,” she said, “and I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra. It was a live television show, and a very very important emotional show for me…And due to the weather, due to the delay, due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk. It was about the president and the inauguration, and I wanted to make my country proud.”

The confession, however, came only after Beyoncé delivered a live, a cappella rendition of the national anthem to a convention center filled with reporters — proving that she can perform the song without any help from a pre-recorded track or even other musicians. Here’s video of her unaccompanied performance:

READ FULL STORY

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