Turns out, they weren’t the only ones.
Headliner Bruno Mars had help with his performance as well, "The Insider With Yahoo" has learned. However, it's also the norm for that particular high-profile gig.
An insider with intimate knowledge of the halftime performances, says Mars's vocals and drums were live during the 12-minute show, but the rest of his band pre-recorded their parts, which Yahoo Music has confirmed with an NFL spokesperson. It's done because there's just too much at stake during the brief window in which the highly watched performance takes place. In short, there's just no room for error.
Watch Bruno Mars's Super Bowl performance here:
Flea said so much in a letter posted to the Red Hot Chili Peppers website on Tuesday. While Anthony Kiedis sang live, the rest of the group played along with the pre-recorded track.
"When we were asked by the NFL and Bruno to play our song 'Give It Away' at the Super Bowl, it was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums, and guitar would be pre-recorded," wrote the bassist. "I understand the NFL's stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there a zillion things that could go wrong and ruin the sound for the folks watching in the stadium and the t.v. viewers. There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period."
He added, "We decided that, with Anthony singing live, that we could still bring the spirit and freedom of what we do into the performance, and of course we played every note in the recording specially for the gig. I met and spoke with Bruno, who was a beautiful dude, a real talented musician, and we worked out something that seemed like it would be fun.
Flea made it clear the band wasn't trying to trick anyone.
"For the actual performance, Josh [Klinghoffer], Chad [Smith] , and I were playing along with the pre recorded track so there was no need to plug in our guitars, so we did not," he said. "Could we have plugged them in and avoided bumming people out who have expressed disappointment that the instrumental track was pre recorded? Of course easily we could have and this would be a non-issue. We thought it better to not pretend."
And we all know what happens when things aren't pre-recorded. When Christina Aguilera belted out the Star-Spangled Banner in 2011, she famously flubbed the lyrics … and probably wished she had pre-recorded it.
For the record, Renee Fleming did sing the national anthem live this year, according to the NFL spokesperson. Luckily, the soprano pulled it off without a hitch.