Who is Bruno Mars?
Bruno Mars is a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter who rose to prominence with his super-hit singles like “Just the Way You Are”, “Grenade”, and “Locked Out of Heaven”. With worldwide sales of over 11 million albums and 68 million singles, he is undoubtedly, one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. Along with being a great singer, he is also known for his showmanship which makes him a very entertaining stage performer. He was musically inclined from a young age, which is not at all surprising given that he was born into a family of musicians. Exposed to a diverse mix of reggae, rock, hip hop, and R&B at an early age, he started making music of his own when he was a little boy. Throughout his childhood he performed at different musical venues in his hometown and there was no doubt in his mind that he would grow up to become a professional musician. A Hawaiian by birth, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his musical ambitions. Initially he struggled to establish himself as a singer and took to songwriting in order to earn his livelihood. Eventually he released his debut album, ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’, which became a major hit and set the pace for his illustrious career as a singer
Childhood & Early Life
He was born as Peter Gene Hernandez on 8 October, 1985, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father Peter Hernandez was a Latin percussionist while his mother Bernadette "Bernie" San Pedro Bayot was a singer cum dancer. He was nicknamed “Bruno” as a child. He has five siblings.
His parents exposed him to a diverse variety of music from childhood. He was naturally inclined towards the performance arts since both his parents were professional performers. One of his uncles, an Elvis impersonator, encouraged Bruno to perform on stage when he was a three-year-old. He soon started performing with his family band and gained popularity in his hometown for his impersonation of Elvis Presley.
He attended the President Theodore Roosevelt High School from where he graduated in 2003. While at school, he used to perform in a group, called, The School Boys.
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Bruno Mars moved to Los Angeles, California, shortly after his graduation to pursue a musical career. It was at this time that he adopted the stage name “Bruno Mars”.
He signed to Motown Records in 2004 and though this deal turned out to be fruitless, he got the opportunity to meet the songwriter and producer Phillip Lawrence who was also signed to the same label.
Lawrence introduced Mars to his future A&R manager at Atlantic Records, Aaron Bay-Schuck, in 2006. Soon he was signed to Atlantic Records and from there his career took off.
In addition to his career as a singer, Bruno Mars collaborated with Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine to establish the songwriting and record production team, The Smeezingtons, in 2009. The team became very popular and has been much in demand since its inception. The team has worked with various artists and received mainstream awards including the ASCAP Pop Music Awards for Songwriters.
In July 2010 he released his first solo single, “Just the Way You Are”, from his debut studio album, ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’, released after a few months in October. The single peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was named "the year's finest pop debut” and catapulted Bruno Mars to international stardom.
His much anticipated second album, ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ was released in December 2012. The album's lead single, “Locked Out of Heaven”, topped the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks and landed in the Top 10 in 20 countries, making it a huge international success. This album too became a critical as well as commercial success.
Following the unprecedented success of his album, he embarked on a tour, The Moonshine Jungle Tour, in June 2013. He started from North America, and traveled all the way through Europe and Oceania before concluding it in North America in October 2014.
His debut album ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’ has been certified 39x platinum worldwide and has sold over 45 million singles worldwide. It featured the hit singles “Just the Way You Are”, “The Lazy Song”, and “Count On Me”.
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His second album ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’, which explores a variety of styles such as reggae rock, disco and soul music was also a huge hit like its predecessor. The album debuted on the US Billboard 200 at No. 2, eventually peaking at No.1. It also received positive reviews from music critics.
Awards & Achievements
Bruno Mars has received three BRIT awards from five nominations, including two in the category International Male Solo Artist in 2012 and 2014.
He has been nominated for the prestigious Grammy Awards 18 times, winning two of them: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Just The Way You Are” in 2011 and Best Pop Vocal Album for “Unorthodox Jukebox” in 2014.
He is also the recipient of 14 awards from ASCAP including three for the Most Performed Song –“Locked Out of Heaven”, “When I Was Your Man”, and “Treasure”—in 2014.
Personal Life & Legacy
He was once romantically linked to singer and actress, Rita Ora whom he first met in 2009. The couple however split up in 2011 owing to work pressures.
He started dating model Jessica Caban in 2011.
Bruno Mars has an estimated net worth of $70 million.
In partnership with the Hawai'i Community Foundation and the GRAMMY Foundation, he has established a GRAMMY Camp Scholarship Fund, in order to provide financial assistance to next generation of music makers