Bruno Mars is on top of the world these days. Following his record-breaking Super Bowl half-time performance on Sunday, Feb. 2, the pop star appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about his success and his critics.
"How do you say no?" Mars, 28, asked Ellen DeGeneres about getting the call to perform. "It's very early in my career. I only have two albums, but tomorrow's not promised, so I had to go for it."
DeGeneres, 56, then brought up a critical New York Times article, which was released before the performance and questioned whether the musician was the right choice when compared to seasoned performers like Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, and Beyonce.
In the article, Jody Rosen, the pop critic for New York magazine, was quoted discussing the requirements for being a modern pop star: "you have to sprinkle your stardust across all these different platforms. Not just the concert stage and the record, but the red carpet and the paparazzi shot, your clothing line and your fragrance."
Mars had heard about the piece and found it to be offensive.
"I did hear that, and I think that was by far the most disgusting thing I've heard," he told DeGeneres. "Not because it was taking a shot at me, but I was just thinking about aspiring young musicians."
He then asked DeGeneres if he could give a "speech" to future artists. She agreed and also appeased his request to turn on the Rocky theme song when he had finished.
"Listen, if music is what you want to do; if it is your love and your passion, it doesn't take a fragrance, it's not about the tabloids," Mars encouraged viewers. "It's about you putting in the work, practicing every day, and hopefully one day you write the song the whole world wants to get down to. And one day you're going to be sitting next to Ellen DeGeneres talking about how you broke records and rocked the Super Bowl!"
And with that, Mars got up and charged into the audience, hugging and kissing the cheering fans as the Rocky theme song played. When he'd finished making his rounds, he playfully quipped, "With that being said, I have a fragrance coming out this fall."