A versatile musician, Bruno Mars is an all-around entertainer. As a child, the R&B, pop singer and songwriter was known as “Little Elvis”, performing alongside his percussionist Puerto Rican father. Peter Gene Hernandez landed with the nickname Bruno at the age of two as he resembled the famous wrestler, Bruno Sammartino. Mars was added to his name ahead of his massive career, as it sounded bigger than life.
Having sold more than 100 million albums and recording huge sales at Bruno Mars concert tickets, the Honolulu, Hawaii singer has reached audiences far and wide. His third album “24K Magic” was released in November 2016 to rave reviews. A party album featuring funk and soul, Bruno Mars pulled it off with style and it peaked at the number two spot on the Billboard 200. The album topped the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, riding on the shoulders of the hit title track and other chartbusters like “Chunky” and “That’s What I Like”.
Bruno Mars launched his 24K Magic World Tour in March 2017 with the European leg. Currently he’s crisscrossing across North America, treating fans to his award-winning songs and electrifying performances.
Early Life & Influences
At 4, Bruno Mars was the youngest Elvis impersonator. His school days paled against the happening nights he was enjoying with his father. Performing live in various Hawaiian variety shows, in his own words,
“It was like turning into Batman. I’d go to school and kids are calling me Peter and we’re playing baseball and kickball, and then – ‘All right, guys, I’ve got to go!’ You put on a sequined jumpsuit, and all of a sudden you’re Bruno”.
After his parents’ divorce, Mars and his father briefly experienced a downward spiral. It left them homeless as they crashed in the back of limousines and random rooftops, eventually discovering a rundown building in Manoa. Mars believes that this experience made him determined to succeed in Hollywood as a recording artist.
At 17 he moved to LA and it took Bruno sometime to settle down. One of the reasons for his initial struggle was his last name. With the surname Hernandez, music producers coaxed him into making Spanish music and exploring the Latin music genre. Declining all such offers, he changed his name to Bruno Mars stating,
“the best way to avoid being stereotyped by race is to sound as though you come from a different planet altogether.”
Crediting his sound to black music, Bruno Mars was influenced by the works of Michael Jackson, James Brown and Prince. For him black music serves as an umbrella, under which come various music styles like rock, R&B, jazz, reggae, doo-wop, funk, hip-hop and Motown.
“Black people created it all. Being Puerto Rican, even salsa music stems back to the Motherland [Africa]. So, in my world, black music means everything. It’s what gives America its swag.”
Breakthrough & Recognition
Nothing fruitful materialized from Bruno Mars’ initial affiliation with the Motown label. He jumped across a few labels, collaborated here and there, and finally found a mentor in producer and songwriter Philip Lawrence. Before finding his big break with Atlantic Records, Bruno Mars wrote songs for Flo Rida, Brandy and Adam Levine.
Mars rose to prominence with the song “Just The Way You Are”. Earning him his first Grammy Award in the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance category, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 and broke through the charts all over the world. Another single, “Nothin’ on You” established him as a soulful crooner and became a huge hit. The song skyrocketed to number one on the Billboard singles chart. Mars scored yet another chartbuster with “It Will Rain” which later became part of the soundtrack album of 2011’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1.
His performance at the 2012 Grammy Awards ceremony made the industry veterans sit up and take notice. The energetic rendition of “Runaway Baby”, his 60s’ influenced song was a big hit with the audience. In 2014, Mars was invited to headline the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show, becoming the first Puerto Rican and under 30 artist to perform as the headliner. On popular demand, he returned to the Super Bowl 50 halftime show as a guest and performed alongside Beyonce and Coldplay.
Bruno Mars has won five Grammy Awards till now, along with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Notable Work & Album Releases
Bruno Mars hit big with his very first album “Doo-Wops & Hooligans”. Producing hit numbers, “The Lazy Song”, “Just the Way You are” and “Marry You”, the album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200.
“Unorthodox Jukebox” followed next, hitting the shelves in December 2012. It landed at the top of the Billboard 200 and won the Best Pop Vocal Album Grammy Award. A slick pop effort, Mars was lauded for his stylistic choices and bold ideas. The emotional ballad “When I Was Your Man” earned critical acclaim, along with a Grammy nomination.
After four years Bruno Mars released his third album “24K Magic”. It reached the second spot on the Billboard 200 and surpassed all expectations. In 2016, Mars also released the single “Uptown Funk” with Mark Ronson and it won them both the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Grammy Award.
Bruno Mars – What’s Next
Bruno Mars is taking his 24K Magic World Tour all over the world. The 24K Magic World Tour tickets are among the hottest buys this season. The concert schedule is out and Mars is expected to add more dates on popular demand.
A consummate professional, Bruno Mars live performance should not be missed. Be it at awards ceremonies or the Super Bowl half-time shows, his live performances are energetic, electrifying and simply out of this world – much like his last name.