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Born October 8, 1985, Peter Gene Hernandez, better known by his stage name Bruno Mars. A family of musicians raised the American singer-songwriter and music producer in the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu, Hawaii. He grew up surrounded by reggae, rock, hip-hop, and R&B. At the age of two, he was nicknamed "Bruno" by his father, because of his resemblance to chubby professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino. He performed at numerous venues all across his hometown during his childhood and in 2003, shortly after graduating from President Theodore Roosevelt High School at the age of seventeen, Bruno moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a musical career and began by producing songs for other artists and joined the production team The Smeezingtons.
After an unsuccessful start with a 2004 record deal with Motown Records which went “nowhere” in his own words, Bruno signed with Atlantic Records in 2009 and was instantly recognized as a solo artist, lending his vocals and music writing skills as co-writer for the songs, “Nothin’ on You” by B.oB, and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy. He also co-wrote the hits “Right Round” for Flo Rida featuring Kesha, “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan,” and “Fuck You!” by Cee Lo Green. Bruno himself stated that while his ultimate goal was to gain recognition as a solo artist, he was willing to write and produce for other artists as it improved his songwriting and was a time of self-discovery that contributed greatly to his later success.
Bruno’s music displays a wide variety of styles and influences that contains elements from many different genres, acknowledging the influence that his collaborations have had on his own music. His child hood influences included famous artists such as Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, doing impersonations of both as a child. The blend of these influences upon his music have made Bruno Mars one of the most versatile and accessible singers in pop.
In October 2010, he released his debut album entitled “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” that was anchored by the album’s number one singles “Just the Way You Are” and “Grenade.” The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. Nominated for seven Grammys at the 53rd Grammy Awards and won for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Just the Way You Are.”
Having written and produced songs for Alexandra Burke, Travie McCoy, Adam Levine, and Brandy, he gained a measure of prominence as a solo artist after being featured on and co-writing B.o.B's "Nothin' on You" and Travie McCoy's "Billionaire" that peaked within the top ten of many charts worldwide.
Mars' debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, was digitally released on October 4, 2010 and physically released the following day. The lead single “Just the Way You Are” released on July 19, 2010 reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and other worldwide charts. The second single “Grenade” was released September 28, 2010 and has also enjoyed international chart topping performance.
In the United States, Doo-Wops & Hooligans debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, sold 55,000 copies, receiving positive reviews from the critics, and won praise for containing “instant-access melodies” with “sly snatches of dance-floor swagger.” He opened for Maroon 5 on the fall leg of the “Hands All Over” tour that started on October 6 and co -headlined on a European tour that started on October 18, 2010.
Bruno Mars is known for displaying a wide variety of styles and influences including pop, rock, reggae, R&B, soul, and hip-hop making him one of the most versatile and accessible singers in pop, with a light, soul-influenced voice that’s an easy fit in a range of styles." R&B artists such as Keith Sweat, Jodeci and R. Kelly, as well as Elvis Presley and Motown initially influenced Bruno, and this continued in high school, turning his attention to classic rock such as The Police, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles. All of these genres and artists have influenced Bruno’s musical style as Bruno himself said, “It’s not easy to (create) songs with that mixture of rock and soul and hip-hop.”