Peter Gene Hernandez, known professionally as Bruno Mars, is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and dancer. He is known for his stage performances, retro showmanship, and for performing in a wide range of musical styles, including R&B, funk, pop, soul, reggae, hip hop and rock. Take a look below for 35 more fun and interesting facts about Bruno Mars.
1. 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.
2. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mars moved to Los Angeles in 2003 to pursue a musical career.
3. After being dropped by Motown Records, Mars signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 2009.
4. In the same year, he co-founded the production team The Smeezingtons, responsible for various successful singles for Mars himself and other artists.
5. 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.
6. His debut studio album “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States and reached number one in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
7. 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.
8. Mars’ second album, “Unorthodox Jukebox,” peaked at number one in the US, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, and the UK, winning a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album.
9. Its singles “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man”, reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
10. In 2014, Mars collaborated with Mark Ronson on “Uptown Funk”, which topped many music charts worldwide, including the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK.
11. In 2016, Shampoo Press & Curl replaced The Smeezingtons on the composition of Mars’ third studio album, the R&B-focused, “24K Magic.” The record debuted at number two in the United States, Canada, France, and New Zealand and received seven Grammy Awards, winning the major categories of Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year.
12. Mars has sold over 200 million singles and 26 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.
13. 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.
14. As a songwriter, he was included in Music Week and Billboard magazine as one of the best songwriters of 2011 and 2013, respectively.
15. 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.
16. He has appeared in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2011 and Forbes magazine’s lists of ’30 under 30′ in 2013, the world’s most powerful celebrities in 2014, and Celebrity 100 in 2018 and 2019.
17. 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.
18. His father is of half Puerto Rican and half Ashkenazi Jewish descent, from Ukraine and Hungary, and is originally from Brooklyn, New York.
19. His mother emigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii as a child, and was of Filipino, and some Spanish, ancestry.
20. His parents met while performing in a show in which his mother was a hula dancer and his father played percussion.
21. At the age of two, he was nicknamed “Bruno” by his father because of his resemblance to professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.
22. Mars is one of six children and came from a musical family which exposed him to a diverse mix of music genres, including 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.
23. Mars’ uncle was an Elvis impersonator, and also encouraged three-year-old Mars to perform on stage.
24. Mars performed songs by artists such as Michael Jackson, The Isley Brothers, and The Temptations.
25. 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.
26. In 1990, Mars was featured in the Hawaiian tabloid shopper MidWeek as “Little Elvis”, and later appeared in a cameo role in the film “Honeymoon in Vegas”, and performed in the halftime show of the 1990 Aloha Bowl.
27. When Mars was 12 years old, his parents divorced, thus ending The Love Notes act and consequently a steady source of income.
28. He moved out of their parents house along with his brother and father. They lived in the back of a car, on rooftops, and in an abandoned bird zoo, Paradise Park, where Mars’ father worked before it closed.
29. The time Mars spent impersonating Presley had a major impact on his musical evolution and performing techniques.
30. 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.”
31. When he attended President Theodore Roosevelt High School in Honolulu he performed in a group called The School Boys.
32. After Mars’ 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 summoned 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.
33. 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 [any] pizzazz, and a lot of girls say I’m out of this world, so I was like I guess I’m from Mars.”
34. Mars’s brother, Eric, has continuously served as the drummer for his backup band, The Hooligans. Their sisters, Tiara, Tahiti, and Presley, as well as their cousin Jaime, make up the all-girl music group The Lylas.
35. In 2019, he was placed at number 54 on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, with estimated earnings of $51.5 million throughout June 1, 2018, and June 1, 2019.