Bruno Mars

  • R&B/Pop singer songwriter born Peter Hernandez in 1985 in Honolulu Hawaii.
  • His mother was of Filipino descent. She was a singer and hula dancer, and met Mars’ father at a show where he was playing percussion. His father is half Puerto Rican and half Ashkenazi Jewish, and he gave Peter the nickname Bruno when Bruno was 2 years old – his father thought he resembled the professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.
  • At 3 years old, he was encouraged by family members to perform. Mars performed songs by Michael Jackson, the Isley Brothers and the Temptations, and he became known on the island for his impersonation of Elvis Presley. By the age of 4, he was performing 5 days a week with his family’s band.
  • In 2003, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. He took the stage name of Mars, saying that he “felt like I didn’t have [any] pizzazz, and a lot of girls say I’m out of this world, so I was like I guess I’m from Mars.”
  • He initially signed with Motown Records in 2004, but nothing developed, and he was dropped by the label the next year. He soon signed a publishing deal, and he worked with producers and other writers to hone the craft of writing pop songs. He started collaborating with Phillip Lawrence, and they decided to write songs for other artists. He also played cover songs with a band around Los Angeles during this time.
  • From 2005 to 2009, he was successful as a producer for artists including Adam Levine, Brandy, and Flo Rida. By 2009, he was performing and singing on some of the songs he was writing for others – mostly pop hip hop songs. This led to Mars signing with a record label, and in 2010, he released 4 songs on his debut EP, It’s Better If You Don’t Understand. Critics loved it, but very few people bought it.
  • His first single, Just The Way You Are, was released in the summer of 2010, and the album, Doo Wops & Hooligans, was issued in October. The single holds the record for the staying at #1 longer than any other debut single – 20 weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart. The album ultimately sold over 5 million copies in the US. Other singles that peaked in the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart are Grenade and The Lazy Song.
  • Mars wrote the lead single to the soundtrack to the film The Twilight Saga: Breaking Down – Part 1. The song, It Will Rain, was released in 2011, and it peaked at #3, selling 3 million downloads in the U.S.
  • His second album, Unorthodox Jukebox, was released in late 2012. It was another huge hit, with 4 million copies sold in the U.S. The 2 songs that hit #1 were Locked Out of Heaven and When I Was Your Man. Only Elvis Presley had 5 songs hit #1 more quickly than Mars.
  • Mars was the headliner at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2014 – the first time an artist under the age of 30 headlined the show. He also appeared as a guest act at the halftime show in 2016.
  • His most recent album was released in 2016 – 24K Magic. So far, 1 song has made it to #1 – That’s What I Like was released at the end of January this year, and has already had 5 million downloads.
  • His biggest selling single by far is actually a song where he is the featured artist – Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk. Mars co-wrote the song. It was #1 for 14 consecutive weeks, and sold 11 million downloads in the U.S. There have been 4 billion views on YouTube. At its peak, it was generating $100,000 per week of income just for plays on Spotify.
  • Mars covers many types of musical genres – his music can be classified as pop, R&B, rock, reggae, soul, funk and hip hop. Most of his songs are upbeat. His showmanship draws rave reviews – his concerts are true spectacles.
  • So far, he has won 5 Grammy awards. I’m sure there will be more.
  • Click below to add to the number of YouTube watches of Uptown Funk. Bruno Mars is the best thing to ever happen to Mark Ronson!

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