News / Arts & Entertainment

    'Popsicle' Mic Surprises Bruno Mars at Super Bowl Rehearsal

    Bruno Mars who will headline the half-time show at the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game speaks during a press conference, Jan. 30, 2014, in New York.
    Bruno Mars who will headline the half-time show at the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game speaks during a press conference, Jan. 30, 2014, in New York.
    Reuters
    An early rehearsal for the Super Bowl halftime show at the outdoor stadium held some weather-related surprises for two-time Grammy Award-winning singer Bruno Mars.
     
    “The microphone turns into a popsicle!” Mars said on Thursday at a press conference along with opera great Renee Fleming, who will sing the National Anthem before Sunday night's game.
     
    “I'm grabbing the mic and it's frozen,” the Hawaii-born Mars told reporters, sporting his trademark bouffant. “There's stuff like that that we're taking into consideration. And getting some heaters.”
     
    The singer said he was surprised to be tapped by the National Football League as the featured halftime performer, following in the footsteps of superstars like Beyonce, Prince, Bruce Springsteen and The Who.
     
    “I haven't been able to take it in - not yet,” Mars said. “But I will.”
     
    Mars offered no details of what fans will see or hear when he takes the stage accompanied by alternate rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
     
    Fleming has no musical concerns, she said, about delivering  “The Star-Spangled Banner” the challenging 200-year-old anthem that requires singers to have a wide range.
     
    The world-renowned soprano with four Grammy Awards and a National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama, is more concerned about something else: tuning out the distractions in a high-tech stadium filled with 80,000 fans waiting for the Seattle Seahawks-Denver Broncos matchup - with another 160 million, by NFL estimates, expected to watch on television.
     
    “I work in a world that is completely no tech, zero amplification and all live acoustic music, and I expect to be really distracted by the amount of sound coming from the system, from the size of the stadium, from the audience and also the visual from the jumbotron,” Fleming said.
     
    In past years, the Super Bowl has featured pop singers such as Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys and Billy Joel to deliver the anthem.
     
    Fleming said she had never expected to get the call: “If you'd asked me six months ago if I'd be doing this, I'd have laughed and said, 'That's ridiculous,' and changed the subject."

    • The numerals for the the game are seen at an opening ceremony for 'Super Bowl Boulevard' along Broadway as preparations continue for Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Jan. 29, 2014.
    • Seattle Seahawks fans Todd Gibson and his son Karsten pose outside the stadium before the start of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Feb. 2, 2014.
    • Fans Todd Barnes and Mitch Daniels photograph themselves on Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square prior to Super Bowl XLVIII, Jan. 31, 2014, in New York City.
    • A police officer and his dog walk past football fans at the Secaucus Junction in Secaucus, N.J., Feb. 2, 2014.
    • Tim Froemke of Ritzville Wash., waits in a security line at the Secaucus Junction in Secaucus, N.J., Feb. 2, 2014.
    • Football fans wait in a security line at the Secaucus Junction in Secaucus, N.J., Feb. 2, 2014.
    • Seattle Seahawks fans pose for a picture in Times Square while they visit the Super Bowl Boulevard fan zone ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Feb. 1, 2014.
    • Fans hold up posters of (R-L) Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, quarterback Russell Wilson, running back Marshawn Lynch, and cornerback Richard Sherman while they gather en masse at Super Bowl Boulevard fan zone ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Feb. 1, 2014.
    • Seattle Seahawks fans sign a "12th Man" flag on "Super Bowl Boulevard" at Times Square, as part of the Super Bowl lead up, in New York Feb. 1, 2014.
    • Ron Hebron, of Portland, Oregon, wears his beard with Seattle Seahawks colors on Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square in New York, Jan. 31, 2014.
    • Blitz, right, the Seattle Seahawks mascot, is sits with Miles, left, the Denver Broncos mascot, Jan. 31, 2014, on top of a Super Bowl sign during a live TV broadcast in Times Square in New York.
    • A man dressed as the Statue of Liberty poses for photos with football fans along Super Bowl Boulevard. Jan. 31, 2014, in New York. T
    • A fan of the Seattle Seahawks jokes with a fan of the Denver Broncos at the Super Bowl Boulevard fan zone ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Jan. 30, 2014.
    • A billboard is displayed along Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square in New York, Jan. 31, 2014.
    • Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Denver Broncos head coach John Fox speak at a news conference, Jan. 31, 2014, in New York.
    • A fan visits the Super Bowl Boulevard fan zone ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Jan. 30, 2014.
    • A police officer walks next to a fan at the Super Bowl Boulevard fan zone ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Jan. 30, 2014.
    • Denver Broncos strong safety David Bruton runs an interception drill during an indoor practice session for the Super Bowl at the New York Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey, Jan. 30, 2014.
    • Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning readies to throw a pass during a practice session for the Super Bowl at the New York Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey, Jan. 30, 2014.
    • Soprano Renee Fleming speaks at the Super Bowl half time press conference in New York, Jan. 30, 2014.
    • Bruno Mars who will headline the half-time show at Super Bowl XLVIII during a press conference, Jan. 30, 2014, in New York.
    • The New York skyline and the Empire State Building are seen in the distance as roman numerals for NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game are displayed in Hoboken, New Jersey, Jan. 30, 2014.
    • Seattle Seahawks fans walk to the stadium before the start of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Feb. 2, 2014.

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.

    New in Music Alley

    Soul Lounge: Sweet Honey in the Rocki
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 10, 2016 1:48 PM
    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B. The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.

    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B.   The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.