Peter Gene Hernandez, better known by his stage name Bruno Mars, is an American singer, songwriter, music producer, dancer, and music video director. He was born on October 8, 1985 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mars was born into a musical family. In fact, his parents met while performing at the same music show - his mother was a hula dancer at the event, while his father played percussion. He picked up the nickname “Bruno” at a young age, after his father noticed a resemblance to professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino. He also started to perform in his family’s band, called “The Love Notes”, as early as age 4. He did urinate himself during a performance one time at age 5, but that didn’t deter him from wanting to be back on stage.
Mars got more and more prominent Bruno Mars concert bookings as a child performer, including one at the halftime show of the Aloha Bowl, a major local football event in Hawaii, and one on the Arsenio Hall Show, a nationally broadcast late night TV show. He also learnt to play multiple instruments. However, alas, his family band dissolved after his parents’ divorce when he was age 12.
The young Bruno continued to perform as a solo artist, however, often as a mini Elvis Presley impersonator. He graduated high school at age 17, and immediately moved to Los Angeles, trying to make it big in the music world. That is when he started using his now famous stage name “Bruno Mars”. It worked out for him rather quickly: he signed his first contract in 2004, with the major record label Motown Records. That partnership was short-lived, however. Rather, Mars started working with music producer Philip Lawrence.
Mars’ first well-paid gigs in the music industry were producing jobs for other artists, such as Adam Levine, Sean Kingston, or Flo Rida. He was also featured on two hit songs by other artists, “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B. and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy. His debut solo album finally came out in October 2010, titled “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” and published by Atlantic Records. It became a massive hit, peaking at the #3 spot on the famous Billboard 200 chart. The standout single on the record was “Just the Way You Are”. With his newfound success, he got to go on his very first international Bruno Mars concert tour.
Since then, Mars has released 2 more full studio albums, thus he has 3 in total. The best selling one among them has remained his first one, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” from 2010, which sold a whopping 15.5 million copies worldwide. Meanwhile, the latest new Bruno Mars album is titled “24K Magic”, and came out in November 2016.
Bruno Mars’ biggest hits to date are the aforementioned “Just the Way You Are” (2010), “The Lazy Song” (also 2010), and “That’s What I Like” (2017). He was also featured on the 2014 hit song by Mark Ronson“Uptown Funk”. Mars is often praised for his versatility as a musician. It’s not only for the many instruments that he can play, such as the piano, guitar, drums, and even the ukulele, but also the vast number of musical genres he’s written great songs in, which include pop, R&B, reggae, funk, soul, and rock.