Bruno Mars

Peter Gene Hernandez (born October 8, 1985), known professionally as Bruno Mars, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and dancer. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mars moved to Los Angeles in 2003 to pursue a musical career. After being dropped by Motown Records, Mars signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 2009. In the same year, he co-founded the production team The Smeezingtons, responsible for various successful singles for Mars himself and other artists. In 2016, Shampoo Press & Curl replaced The Smeezingtons on the composition of Mars’ third studio album, 24K Magic.

Mars rose to fame in 2010 with the release of the successful singles “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy, both of which featured his vocals on the hooks. His debut studio album Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010) peaked at number three on the US Billboard 200 and reached the top in Canada, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and in the United Kingdom albums charts. It spawned the international number-one singles “Just the Way You Are”, “Grenade” and “The Lazy Song”. The former won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. In 2011, Mars recorded the thriving single “It Will Rain” for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.

Mars’ second album, Unorthodox Jukebox (2012), peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, and in the UK, winning a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. Its singles “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man” reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, while “Treasure” peaked at number five. In 2014, Mars collaborated with Mark Ronson on “Uptown Funk”, which topped many music charts worldwide, including the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and UK. His third studio album, the R&B-focused 24K Magic (2016), debuted at number two in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. It received seven Grammy Awards, including major categories Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year and yielded the successful singles “24K Magic”, “That’s What I Like” and “Finesse”.

Mars has sold over 130 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has released seven number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since his career launched in 2010, attaining his first five faster than any male artist since Elvis Presley. Mars has received many awards and nominations, including eleven Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, three Guinness World Records, and was named one of Times 100 most influential people in the world in 2011. In December 2013, he ranked number one on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Mars is known for his stage performances and retro showmanship. He is accompanied by his band, The Hooligans, who play a variety of instruments such as electric guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, drums and horns, and also serve as backup singers and dancers. Mars performs in a wide range of musical styles.

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Early Life

Born Peter Gene Hernandez on October 8, 1985, in Honolulu, Hawaii, popular singer-songwriter Bruno Mars grew up in a very musical family. His father, Pete, was a Latin percussionist from Brooklyn, and his mother, Bernadette (“Bernie”), was a singer. Mars received his nickname, “Bruno,” while he was still a baby. “The name Bruno came from baby times,” older sister Jamie explained. “Bruno was always so confident, independent, really strong-willed and kind of a brute—hence the name Bruno—and it kind of just stuck.”

In Waikiki Beach, Mars’s family performed a Las Vegas-style revue that included Motown hits, doo-wop melodies and celebrity impersonations. Growing up around entertainers, Mars began picking up musical instruments from early childhood. “I’ve always had a drum set, a piano, a guitar … and never got trained to play. It was just always there,” he later recalled. “That’s just how I learned, just being surrounded by it my whole life.” At the age of 4, he joined the family musical act as an Elvis impersonator and quickly become one of the stars of the show. He continued to perform with his family throughout his childhood, and as he approached adolescence he added Michael Jackson to his impersonation repertoire.

He’s a superstar who named himself after a planet, but in spite of this Bruno Mars is remarkably down-to-earth. He started off his career as an Elvis impersonator and is now well on his way to becoming one of the biggest chart-toppers of all time. Mars’ journey to fame has been marked with highs and lows. While his laid-back demeanor doesn’t hint at his troubles, Mars has had more than his fair share of hardships. Think you know everything there is to know about this icon? Think again.

He wrote his first song at the age of four!
Mars has been churning out hits since childhood. He wrote his very first song when he was just four years old and dedicated it to the most important person in his life: his mother. She told Inquirer Lifestyle that Mars was “singing even before he started talking.”

He also started playing the piano at a young age, according to his mother. “I bought him a piano when he was just two,” she said, “and he went on the piano and just started playing tunes, not just banging on it, but he’d play actual tunes!”

Mars has certainly come a long way since then, having penned dozens of hit songs.

He was the youngest Elvis impersonator.

Not only did the pint-sized Bruno write his first song when he was just 4 years old, he was also the youngest Elvis impersonator at the time, which he started doing at just 2 years old as part of his parents’ band! That’s cute and all, but how big of a deal could it be? Pretty big. He was such a great tiny Elvis that he performed at the 1990 Aloha Bowl and played “Little Elvis” in 1992’s Honeymoon in Vegas. And people loved him.

He was featured in the 1990 documentary Viva Elvis, and appeared on multiple television segments, like the Pauly Shore MTV segment above and, according to Rolling Stone, he appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show by the time he was just 6.

So why Elvis? He said in the Viva Elvis documentary, “I like his singing, and his dance, and his lip,” which he then of course topped off with his impression of the iconic Elvis lip. The kid was born to be a star!



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