Last year’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford — the only one ever in New Jersey, and the only outdoor Super Bowl ever in a cold-weather city — was a letdown: One of the most one-sided, boring games in the championship game’s nearly 50-year history. On NFL.com, football analyst Elliot Harrison has ranked all 48 games, and that one, in which the Seahawks beat the Broncos 43-8, came in second to last. (Finishing below it was Super Bowl XXIV, in which the 49ers beat the Broncos by an even greater margin, 55-10.)
But the halftime show, by Bruno Mars, was solid, with a celebratory jam with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and part of the power ballad “Just the Way You Are” as the climax (as fireworks lit up the chilly Meadowlands sky). It was also a classy touch to precede “Just the Way You Are” with taped messages from American soldiers to their families.
At 28, Mars was the youngest artist ever to be the sole headliner at a Super Bowl halftime show. This year’s headliner, Katy Perry, is only slightly older, at 30.
“Just the Way You Are,” not to be confused with Billy Joel’s 1977 hit of the same name, is from Mars’ 2010 album Doo-Wops & Hooligans, and was a No. 1 hit that year.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.