Peter Gene Hernandez (born October 8, 1985), known professionally as Bruno Mars, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, musician, and dancer. He is known for his stage performances, retro showmanship, and for performing in a wide range of musical styles, including pop, R&B, funk, soul, reggae, hip hop, disco and rock. Mars 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.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mars moved to Los Angeles in 2003 to pursue a musical career. In 2009, he co-founded the production team The Smeezingtons, responsible for various successful singles for Mars himself and other artists. He rose to fame in 2010 buoyed by the success of “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy, both of which featured his vocals. That year Mars released his debut studio album Doo-Wops & Hooligans, which blended pop with reggae pop and R&B. It spawned the international number-one singles “Just the Way You Are”, “Grenade”, and “The Lazy Song”. Drawing inspiration from disco, funk, rock, reggae and soul genres, his second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox (2012), was his first number one on the Billboard 200. It amassed two Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits, “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man”.
In 2014, Mars was featured on Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”, which topped various music charts, spending a total of fourteen and seven weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart, respectively. Mars’s third studio album, the R&B-focused, 24K Magic (2016), received seven Grammy Awards, winning the major categories of Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. The album also yielded the top-five singles “24K Magic”, “That’s What I Like”, his seventh Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, and a remix of “Finesse” featuring Cardi B. In 2021, Mars collaborated with Anderson . Paak as Silk Sonic on the full-length album An Evening with Silk Sonic, whose single “Leave the Door Open” topped the Billboard Hot 100.
Mars has sold over 130 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has released eight 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 became the first artist to receive five diamond certified songs in the United States. He was included in Music Week and Billboard magazine as one of the best songwriters of 2011 and 2013, respectively. Mars has received several awards and nominations, including 11 Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, nine American Music Awards, 10 Soul Train Awards and holds three Guinness world records. He appeared in Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2011, Forbes magazine’s list of “30 Under 30” in 2013, and Forbes’s Celebrity 100 in 2014, 2018, and 2019.
Life and career
1985–2003: Early life and musical beginnings
Peter Gene Hernandez was born on October 8, 1985, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Peter Hernandez and Bernadette San Pedro Bayot, and was raised in the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu. His father is of half Puerto Rican and half Ashkenazi Jewish descent (from Ukraine and Hungary), and is originally from Brooklyn, New York. His mother emigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii, and was of Filipina and some Spanish ancestry. His parents met while performing in a show in which his mother was a hula dancer and his father played percussion. At the age of two, he was nicknamed “Bruno” by his father because of his resemble to professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.
Mars is one of six children and came from a musical family which exposed him to a diverse mix of music genres, including first and foremost Rock and Roll, and later reggae, rock, hip hop, and R&B. His mother was both a singer and a dancer, and his father performed Little Richard rock and roll music, which inspired him as a young child. His uncle was an Elvis impersonator, and also encouraging three-year-old Mars to perform songs on stage by that artist and Michael Jackson. At the age of four, Mars began performing five days a week with his family’s band, The Love Notes, and became known in Hawaii for his impersonation of Elvis Presley. When he was five he urinated himself during a performance of Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (1961), which led his parents to think they could be making a mistake. However, Mars never wavered. In 1990, Mars was featured in the Hawaiian tabloid shopper MidWeek as “Little Elvis” and performed in the halftime show of the 1990 Aloha Bowl.
In 1992, he appeared in a cameo role in the film Honeymoon in Vegas and was interviewed by Pauly Shore on MTV. When Mars was six years old, he was featured on The Arsenio Hall Show and throughout grade school, he performed with his family’s band, two shows a night, covering Frankie Lymon and Little Anthony. When he was a child he had a small version of a drum set, guitar, piano and some percussion and learned to play the instruments. When Mars was 12, his parents divorced, ending The Love Notes act. His father’s various businesses, ranging from temporary-tattoo parlors to memorabilia shops, failed. Consequently, there was no longer a steady source of income. He moved out of his parents’ house along with his brother and father. They lived in the “slums of Hawaii”, on the back of a car, on rooftops, and in an abandoned bird zoo, Paradise Park, where his father worked before it closed. Mars transferred schools and was bullied initially, but he became popular in his last school days.
The time Mars spent impersonating Presley had a major impact on his musical evolution and performing techniques. He later began playing guitar after being inspired by American rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix. In 2010, he also acknowledged his Hawaiian roots and musical family as an influence, explaining: “Growing up in Hawaii made me the man I am. I used to do a lot of shows in Hawaii with my father’s band. Everybody in my family sings , everyone plays instruments … I’ve just been surrounded by it.” When he attended President Theodore Roosevelt High School in Honolulu he sang in a group called The School Boys, who did several shows including opening for his father’s new band, performing songs by the Isley Brothers and the Temptations. The singer, while in high school, became well known in Hawaiian entertainment, becoming the opening gig for a huge magic show and impersonating Michael Jackson in a celebrity-impersonators show, making $75 per performance.
After his sister in Los Angeles, California, played his demo for Mike Lynn (the head of A&R at Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment record label), Lynn summon Mars to Los Angeles. In 2003, shortly after graduating from high school at the age of 17, Mars moved to Los Angeles to pursue a musical career. At that time, he lived on Mansfield Avenue and was surprised by the poverty and squalor of the neighborhood. He adopted his stage name from the childhood nickname his father gave him, adding “Mars” at the end because: “I felt like I didn’t have no pizzazz, and a lot of girls say I’m out of this world, so I was like I guess I’m from Mars.” Moreover, the adoption of his stage name was also an effort to “avoid being stereotyped”, as the music industry tried to pigeonhole him as another Latin artist. They even tried to convince Mars to sing in Spanish.
2004–2010: Production work and It’s Better If You Don’t Understand
shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Mars signed a record contract with Motown Records in 2004, but the deal “went nowhere”, leading him to have a conversation with will.i.am’s management, which also turned out to be fruitless. However, the singer’s experience with Motown proved to be beneficial to his career. American songwriter and record producer Philip Lawrence was also signed to the label.
After Mars was dropped by the label less than a year after being signed, he stayed in Los Angeles and landed a music publishing deal in 2005 with American record producer Steve Lindsey and Cameron Strang at Westside Independent.
Lindsey showed Mars and fellow songwriters Brody Brown and Jeff Bhasker (who Mars met through Mike Lynn) insights into pop writing and acted as a mentor, helping them hone their skills. its ability. Bhasker explained that Lindsey would “mentor us and give us lectures on what a pop hit is, because you might have musical talent and ability, but understand what makes it. So a successful pop song is another area.” Lindsey confessed that he “kept Mars for five years while they learned a rich catalog of hits.” In another interview, Brown corroborated the previous story. During this time, Mars played cover songs around Los Angeles in a band with Bhasker and Eric Hernandez (the former’s brother), who eventually became the drummer for The Hooligans.
2010–2012: Doo-Wops & Hooligans
On July 20, 2010, Mars released “Just the Way You Are” as the lead single from his debut studio album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010), an album primarily produced by Mars. weak by Smentictons. The song topped the charts in various countries, including Australia, Canada and the United States. The album, released on 5 October 2010, peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and number one in the UK. Great Britain. It also topped the charts in the Netherlands and Canada. Doo-Wops & Hooligans has since sold 15.5 million copies worldwide. It spawned two other international singles, “Grenade”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100, New Zealand, UK, as well as various other charts, and “The Lazy Song”, which peaked at number four. on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked in the UK and Denmark.
Other singles included “Talking to the Moon”, which was released exclusively in Brazil and topped Billboard Brasil’s Hot Pop songs and Hot 100 Airplay. “Marry You”, released internationally only, reached the top 10 in different countries, and “Count On Me”, was the last single in Australia. Mars released the single “It Will Rain” for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Soundtrack (2011). The song peaked at number three in the United States and number two in New Zealand. During this time, Mars performed on “Lighters” with American hip hop duo Bad Meets Evil, “Mirror” with American rapper Lil Wayne, and “Young, Wild & Free” with American hip hop artists. Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg. The songs peaked at number four, sixteen, and seven in the United States and entered the top 20 of various music charts.
On September 19, 2010, Mars was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Hard Rock Casino for cocaine possession. While speaking to a police officer, Mars claimed that what he did was “stupid” and ” .” off his criminal record as long as he stays out of trouble for a year. He paid a $2,000 fine, performed 200 hours of community service, and completed a counseling course. However, in a cover story for GQ magazine in 2013, Mars said: “I’m young, man! … I’m not thinking”. He added: “I’ve been given a number one record and I’m doing stupid things.” Mars confessed that he lied to authorities about having used cocaine in the past, saying “I don’t know where it came from” and adding: “I’m really drunk. I’m really drunk. and I try to. try every day to forget.”
Mars began promoting his debut album as the opening act for American bands Maroon 5 and OneRepublic as part of the former artist’s Palm Trees & Power Lines tour. Then, on October 18, 2010, the singer began a European concert tour with McCoy that lasted until early November. Doo-Wops & Hooligans was promoted more as the male singer. embarked on his first tour, The Doo-Wops & Hooligans Tour, which ran from November 2010 to January 2012. However, in February 2011, a co-tour caught the eye. between Mars and Janelle Monáe was announced, named Hooligans in Wondaland Tour (2011). The tour took place in North America in May and June 2011. Mars declined offers to open the doors to notable artists on arena tours, opting instead to perform at the concerts. smaller venues, such as theaters and ballrooms. This made the tour less lucrative, but helped him build his fan base.
2012–2014: Unorthodox Jukebox Performance and Super Bowl XLVIII Midway
In March 2012, Mars signed a worldwide publishing deal with BMG Chrysalis US. In September 2012, when interviewed by Billboard magazine, Mars stated that his next album would be more musically diverse, adding: “I wanted the freedom and luxury to enter the studio. and say, ‘Today I want to do a hip-hop-hop, R&B, soul or rock record’ song. He announced the release date of Jukebox Unorthodox, December 11, 2012. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, eventually reaching number one on the chart. It also peaked at number one in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, where it became the third best-selling album by a solo artist in 2012. The album has since sold more than six million copies worldwide. .
“Locked out of Heaven” was released on October 1, 2012, and prior to the release of Unorthodox Jukebox, an album primarily produced by the Smentictons. The song topped the US and Canadian charts, peaking at number two in the UK. It also ranked in the top 10 in different countries.  Other singles released from the album include “When I Was Your Man”, “Treasure”, “Gorilla” and “Young Girls”. Since “When I Was Your Man” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, no other male artist other than Elvis Presley has reached five number-one singles faster than Mars. It also peaked at number three in Canada, number two in the United Kingdom, and number ten in various countries. “Treasure” peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and number four in Canada, but was less commercially successful in other countries. Mars featured on the song “Bubble Butt” by Jamaican-American EDM trio Major Lazer, released in May 2013. The single also features American rappers Tyga, 2 Chainz and hip singers. -hop American Mystic.
Mars held his second first tour, the Moonshine Jungle Tour, from June 2013 to October 2014. He also announced his Bruno Mars concert residence at The Chelsea, Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada. The tour grossed $156.4 million. On September 8, 2013, Mars was revealed as the title performer at the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show, which took place on February 2, 2014, with American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers as a guest. special invitation. It was the first Super Bowl halftime performance by an artist under the age of 30 in a decade. It was the most watched halftime show in Super Bowl history at the time, attracting 115.3 million viewers. The viewership of the mid-season show was higher than that of the game.
At the 2014 Grammy Awards, Mars won Best Pop Vocal Album for Unorthodox Jukebox. “Locked Out of Heaven” was nominated for Record and Song of the Year, while “When I Was Your Man” earned a nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance. The same year, the album was recognized with the Juno Award for International Album of the Year. Besides his musical career, Mars also played Roberto in the film Rio 2 (2014). He also contributed to the film’s soundtrack with the song “Welcome Back”. On 10 November 2014, British musician Mark Ronson released “Uptown Funk”, which featured Mars. The song was a huge commercial success, reaching number one in several countries, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand. “Uptown Funk” spent a total of fourteen and seven weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart, respectively. The song became a worldwide phenomenon with a major impact on pop culture. In 2013, Mars was named Billboard Artist of the Year by Billboard.
2015–2018: Super Bowl 50 Halftime performance and 24K Magic
In September 2014, Mars began working on his third studio album, 24K Magic, affirming, “Now it’s time to start writing chapter 3”. He had not come up with a date for the release, description: “Until it’s done … It’s gotta be just as good if not better”. At the 2016 Grammy Awards “Uptown Funk” won Ronson and Mars a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Record of the Year. On February 7, 2016, British band Coldplay headlined the Super Bowl 50 halftime show with Mars and American singer Beyoncé as guest acts, marking their second appearance on the Super Bowl halftime. It became one of the most watched halftime shows in Super Bowl history. In early 2016, Mars was working with bass player Jamareo Artis, musician Brody Brown, singer-songwriter Andrew Wyatt and EDM producer Skrillex.
24K Magic was set to be issued in March but was postponed several months due to Mars’s appearance at the Super Bowl halftime show. At that time, seven songs had already been recorded.They were composed mainly by Shampoo Press & Curl, a production team consisting of Mars, Lawrence, and Brown, which replaced the Smeezingtons. In May 2016, the singer split with his manager because Creed sold half his company. Mars took his business affairs under his own management company, Gorilla Management, operated by Aaron Elharar. At the 2017 Grammy Awards, his work (as part of the Smeezingtons) on Adele’s “All I Ask”, a track from her third studio album, 25 (2015), brought him a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In 2017, Guinness World Records recognized Mars as the “First Male Artist to achieve three 10-million-selling-singles”.
In October 2016, “24K Magic” was released as the lead single of 24K Magic. It peaked at number four in the U.S. and reached the top in France and New Zealand. The album, issued on November 18, 2016, debuted at number two in Canada, France, New Zealand, and the U.S. It has since sold over five million copies globally. Four more singles were released throughout 2017 and 2018: “That’s What I Like”, “Versace on the Floor”, “Chunky”, exclusively released in Australia, and a remix of “Finesse” featuring American rapper Cardi B. “That’s What I. Like” was the album’s highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number one, while “Finesse” reached the top-three. Both singles reached number three in Canada, number four and two in New Zealand, respectively.
2018–present: Further collaborations and An Evening with Silk Sonic
Mars worked on Chic’s studio album It’s About Time (2018), with the song expected to be featured on Chic’s next studio album, according to musician Nile Rodgers. In early 2018, Mars worked with recording engineer Charles Moniz, as well as songwriting and recording production team the Stereotypes. In September 2018, Mars and American rappers Gucci Mane and Kodak Black released “Wake Up in the Sky” for Mane’s thirteenth studio album, Evil Genius (2018). It reached number 11 in the US. In February 2019, Cardi B and Mars released a single together, “Please Me”. It peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. The single also reached the top-20 of Canada, New Zealand and the UK. Five months later, British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, American singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, and Mars collaborated on, “Blow”, for the former’s fourth studio album, No.6 Collaborations Project (2019). In October 2019, Mars posted a picture of himself in a recording studio, possibly indicating new music.
Mars has collaborated with various directors to produce his music videos, and over time he has emerged as a music video director. From 2010 to 2017, Mars co-directed with Cameron Duddy ten music videos from the albums Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Unorthodox Jukebox and 24K Magic, as well as featured singles. In 2011, Mars not only developed the concept and second treatment for “The Lazy Song,” but he also brought in Duddy to co-direct the music video with him. In an interview, Duddy explained that he and Mars “can fight like sisters when it comes to music videos. The best collaborations are always motivated by opposing views or alternative ideas. We always find common ground.” In 2018, Mars co-directed the music video for “Finesse” with Florent Dechard. He continued to collaborate with Dechard on the music videos for “Please Me”, “Blow” and “Leave the Door Open”.
Mars, who choreographed the video for “Treasure,” won Best Choreography at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Mars and Duddy’s work has been recognized at several award shows, including including two nominations for the MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction on “Uptown Funk” and “24K Magic”. Mars’ collaboration with Dechard earned them the nomination for Video Director of the Year at the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards.  In 2017, Mars and Jonathan Lia’s “That’s What I Like” led both. two nominations at the BET Awards 2017 for Video Director of the Year. In 2018, the direction of Mars and Ben Winston in Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live at the Apollo (2017) earned them a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Directing. In 2021, Mars and Dechard direct the video for “Leave the Door Open,” for which they won Video Director of the Year at the 2021 BET Awards.