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Mars on short list for Super Bowl gig

Bruno Mars is honored at the MTV Video Music Awards last month. (Associated Press)
Bruno Mars is honored at the MTV Video Music Awards last month. (Associated Press)

Bruno Mars may have been locked out of heaven, but it’s looking like he’ll have a ticket to the Super Bowl. The singer is expected to be tapped to perform at the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVIII in February, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. An announcement could come as early as Sunday.

Neither the NFL nor Fox, which is carrying the Super Bowl this season, would comment. An NFL spokesman would only jokingly say that Janet Jackson and Miley Cyrus have been ruled out as performers.

If he gets the gig, Mars better bring his winter coat or at least a warm sweater. This year’s game is being played in the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

The New Jersey locale would seem to require a homegrown act. However, Bruce Springsteen has already played the Super Bowl and Bon Jovi is in disarray after the exit of guitarist Richie Sambora from the band.

Mars might not be at the mega-star status of recent headliners like Beyonce and Madonna, but he’s solidified himself as a scene-stealing performer, as indicated by his recent performances at MTV’s Video Music Awards, the Grammys and Billboard Music Awards.

His sophomore album, last year’s “Unorthodox Jukebox,” has sold more than 1 million records since its release in December, and chances are his smash “Locked Out of Heaven” will warm up the chilly stadium.

Rodman wraps up North Korea visit

Retired NBA star Dennis Rodman left North Korea today after a five-day trip during which he met leader Kim Jong Un.

Rodman told the Associated Press as he was leaving his hotel in Pyongyang that Kim had spoken about his visiting again, and that Kim “really actually wants to change things.”

He said Kim had encouraged Rodman when he goes back to the United States to “say some very good, positive, and very good things about this country, that’s what we talked about a lot.”

North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, said in a brief report that the two had “a cordial talk,” and that Kim invited Rodman back again “any time.”

Rodman first met Kim – a basketball fan – during a visit in February to promote the sport and make a film. Rodman has suggested “basketball diplomacy” could warm relations and has called Kim an “awesome guy.”

The birthday bunch

Jazz musician Sonny Rollins is 83. Singer Gloria Gaynor is 64. Rock singer Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) is 62. Actress Julie Kavner is 62. Actor Corbin Bernsen is 59. Pianist Michael Feinstein is 57. Actor Tom Everett Scott is 43. Actor Oliver Hudson is 37. Actress Evan Rachel Wood is 26.


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