"Ain't got nothin' on you, Bruno"
Despite split opinion on Super Bowl performance, Mars is significant to pop music
When students lined up for Fall Fest in 2010, they had no idea who Bruno Mars was.
But by the end of Mars' set, he had become a crowd pleaser, serenading women in the audience with his hit songs "Grenade" and "Just The Way You Are."
He fired them up with Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" to the tune of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teenage Spirit," while showcasing his talents on the guitar.
The crowd swayed to his music, and it was clear that Mars might become the next big thing. "Grenade" skyrocketed to the top of musical charts and Mars transitioned from Travie McCoy and B.o.B.'s sidekick to his own musical act.
Three years later, he headlined the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVIII in front of hundreds of millions of viewers.
Mars' flash of brilliance illuminated the atmosphere surrounding an otherwise mundane football game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night.
Dynamic cheers erupted in the crowd but weren't in support of anyone clad in a football jersey. Instead, they were because of the 5-foot 5, bronze-suited, pop sensation Bruno Mars.
Though the state of the game didn't cause much controversy, social media erupted with a divided reaction after the halftime show.
Many still disapproved of Mars and his performance, saying he was a spitting image of a "Motown band, minus the talent" and that the halftime show was another reason to "take a bathroom break."
But many fail to realize how multifaceted Mars' contribution to the music industry has been over the last few years.
Pop music has had a marred image, but Mars serves as a reminder that there is still someone in the music industry that cares about where the music comes from and how it's made.
He has co-wrote many hit songs for other artists and, in the process, has found a way to create a musical fusion of his own.
Do you like the catchy lyrics and tune to CeeLo Green's hit song "Forget You?" Mars helped write that.
Is "Who Dat Girl" by Flo Rida featuring Akon your girl's night jam? Mars helped write that.
You like twerking to "Bubble Butt" by Major Lazer and Bruno Mars? Mars helped write that, too.
What stands out, among other things, is the dedication he has to his craft.
Just take a look at the 10-minute performance on Sunday. We watched him replicate the moves of James Brown, perform an intricate drum solo and use his soulful, Motown-style voice to massage the minds of the crowd.
If you took a bathroom break during his performance, you missed the best part of the entire Super Bowl experience.
Mars' performance exceeded expectations and epitomized his immaculate capabilities as one of today's most talented musicians - one who can not only write, produce and play his own music, but who can catapult other artists' work to the top of the charts with his moxie.
It's plain and simple: Bruno Mars has done more for music over the course of his career than many of today's most popular artists will do in their lifetime.