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After working a string of behind-the-scenes jobs -- including writing songs for Brandy, singing backup for the Sugababes, and impersonating Elvis -- songwriter/producer Bruno Mars put his name on top of the charts in 2009 by co-writing Flo Rida's hit song "Right Round." One year later, he collaborated with rapper B.o.B on Nothin on You, and co-wrote Travis McCoy's "Billionaire," both of which became Top Ten hits. Mars used that momentum to launch a solo career, quickly becoming the first male vocalist in two decades to crack the Top Ten with his first four singles.
Born Peter Hernandez in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mars kicked off his career at the age of four by fronting his uncles band, becoming Oahu's youngest Elvis impersonator in the process. Ten years later, he was impersonating the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, as part of the Legends in Concert show. After graduating high school in 2003, he took his uncle's advice and moved to California to pursue a music career. After months of frustration, he met songwriter Phillip Lawrence, who convinced Mars to try his hand at writing songs for other artists. The two dubbed themselves the Smeezingtons and co-wrote Long Distance, which was recorded in 2008 by R&B singer Brandy. More offers arrived after that, and Mars and Lawrence scored their first number one hit in 2009, when they co-authored Flo Rida's international smash "Right Round."
By 2010, Mars seemed to be everywhere: singing alongside B.o.B on the chart-topping "Nothin' on You," co-writing Travie McCoy's "Billionaire," and collaborating with Cee-Lo Green on the Grammy-nominated hit "F*ck You!" He also began issuing his own material, starting with the May 2010 release of his first EP, It's Better If You Don't Understand. Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Mars' full-length debut, appeared later that year and quickly produced a number one single, "Just the Way You Are." In 2012, Mars both hosted and performed as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live, debuting tracks from his upcoming album.
That album, the genre-jumping effort Unorthodox Jukebox, was released that same year, and featured the lead-off single "Locked Out of Heaven," along with production from Mark Ronson, Diplo, and others. "Locked Out of Heaven" topped the pop charts, and the album reached number two in the U.S. (The second single, "When I Was Your Man," also hit number one.) All that success made Mars a natural for one of the world's most prestigious gigs, the halftime show for Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014, where he performed with Red Hot Chili Peppers as a musical guest and drew record ratings. Also in 2014, Unorthodox Jukebox won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album.
Peter Gene Hernandez (born October 8, 1985), professionally known by his stage name Bruno Mars, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, voice actor, and choreographer. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii by a family of musicians, Mars began making music at a young age and performed in various musical venues in his hometown throughout his childhood. He graduated from high school and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a musical career. Mars produced songs for other artists, co-founding the production team The Smeezingtons.
Mars had an unsuccessful stint with Motown Records, but then signed with Atlantic in 2009. He became recognized as a solo artist after lending his vocals to the songs "Nothin' on You" by B.o.B, and "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy, which were worldwide successes, and for which he co-wrote the hooks. His debut studio album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010), was anchored by the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping singles "Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade", as well as the number-five single "The Lazy Song". His second album, Unorthodox Jukebox, was released in 2012, peaked at number one in the United States. The album spawned the international singles "Locked Out of Heaven", "When I Was Your Man" and "Treasure".
Mars has received many awards and nominations, including two Grammy Awards and was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, in 2011. In 2014, he was named "Artist of the Year" by Billboard and ranked number one on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Throughout his singing career, he has sold over 11 million albums and 68 million singles, making him one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. However, as a performer, writer and producer his total sales surpass 130 million singles. Five of his singles are counted among the best-selling singles of all time. Mars is now regarded as one of the most successful solo artists in the world, landing 5 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since his career launched in 2010, faster than any male singer since Elvis Presley. His total of number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 is six.
Mars is known for his stage performances and retro showmanship. He is accompanied by his band, The Hooligans, which besides playing a variety of instruments such as electric guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, drums and horns, also serves as dancers and background singers. On stage, Mars is able to sing, dance and play a wild range of musical styles, including R&B, reggae, soul and funk music.Graff, Gary (June 12, 2014). "Local roots fortify Bruno Mars’ musical director". The Oakland Press. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
ContentsLife and career1.1 1985–2003: Early life and musical beginnings1.2 2004–10: Production work and It's Better If You Don't Understand1.3 2010–12: Doo-Wops & Hooligans1.4 2012–14: Unorthodox Jukebox and Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show1.5 2015–present: Third studio album
Life and career
1985–2003: Early life and musical beginnings
Bruno Mars was born Peter Gene Hernandez on October 8, 1985, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and was raised in the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu. He is the son of Peter Hernandez and Bernadette "Bernie" San Pedro Bayot (b. August 14, 1957, Manila, d. June 1, 2013, Honolulu). His father is of half Puerto Rican and half Ashkenazi Jewish (from Ukraine and Hungary) descent, and is originally from Brooklyn, New York. Mars' mother emigrated to Hawaii from the Philippines as a child, and was of Filipino descent, with distant Spanish ancestry. His parents met while performing in a show, where 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 resemblance to professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.
Mars is one of six children and came from a musical family who exposed him to a diverse mix of reggae, rock, hip hop, and R&B. In addition to being a dancer, his mother was a singer and his father used his musical ability to perform Little Richard rock and roll music. Mars' uncle was an Elvis impersonator, and encouraged three-year-old Mars to perform on stage as well. Mars also performed songs by artists such as Michael Jackson, The Isley Brothers, and The Temptations. At age four, Mars began performing five days a week with his family's band, The Love Notes, in which he became known on the island for his impersonation of Presley. In 1990, Mars was featured in MidWeek as "Little Elvis", going on to have a cameo in the film Honeymoon in Vegas in 1992.
His time spent impersonating Presley had a major impact on Mars' musical evolution and performing techniques. He later began playing guitar after drawing inspiration from 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 at President Theodore Roosevelt High School he performed in a group called The School Boys. In 2003, shortly after graduating from President Theodore Roosevelt High School at the age of 17, Mars moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a musical career. He adopted his stage name from the 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."
2004–10: Production work and It's Better If You Don't Understand
"I'd always been a working musician in Hawaii and never had problems paying rent. And then it's like, 'Now I'm in L.A. and my phone's getting shut off.' That's when reality hit. I started DJ-ing. It was something silly. I told this person I could DJ because they said they could pay me $75 cash under the table. I didn't know how to DJ. I lost that job pretty quick."—Mars, speaking about his experiences of moving to Los Angeles to pursue a musical career.
Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Mars signed to Motown Records in 2004, in a deal that "went nowhere" and a conversation with Will.i.am's management who turned out fruitless. However, Mars' experience with Motown proved to be beneficial to his career when he met songwriter and producer Philip Lawrence, who was also signed to the label. After Mars was dropped by Universal Motown, less than a year of being signed, he stayed in Los Angeles and landed a music publishing deal in 2005 with Steve Lindsey and Cameron Strang at Westside Independent.
"Bruno came to the conclusion that the best way to further his career was writing and producing hit songs."—Cameron Strang, speaking about developing Mars' career.
During Mars' career beginnings, Lindsey, who showed Jeff Bhasker and Mars the ins and outs of writing pop music, acted as a mentor to Mars and helped him to hone his craft. Bhasker, who had met Mars through Mike Lynn (the A&R at Dr Dre's Aftermath Entertainment who first heard Mars' demo tape through his sister and flew him to LA), explained: "He’d mentor us, and kind of give us lectures as to what a hit pop song is, because you can have talent and music ability, but understanding what makes a hit pop song is a whole other discipline." Steve Lindsey was responsible for "[holding] Bruno Mars back for five years while they learned an extensive catalog of hit music." Meanwhile, Mars played cover songs in a band, around Los Angeles, with Bhasker and Eric Hernandez, Mars' brother, who is now the drummer of "The Hooligans".
When Lawrence was first told he should meet Mars he was reluctant to do so, since he didn't even have money for bus fare. Keith Harris, drummer for The Black Eyed Peas, told him, "Whatever it costs you to get out here, I’ll reimburse you." Lawrence responded, "Just give me five dollars back for the bus." The pair began collaborating, writing songs for Mars, but they received many rejections from labels. On the verge of giving up, they received a call from Brandon Creed, then seeking songs for a reunited Menudo. He liked their song "Lost", which was written for Mars. The duo didn't want to give the song away, but when they were offered $20,000 for the song they agreed. The sale of this song allowed them to continue working, and Mars and Lawrence decided that they would write and produce songs together for other artists.
In 2006, Lawrence introduced Mars to his future A&R manager at Atlantic Records, Aaron Bay-Schuck. After hearing him play a couple of songs on the guitar, Bay-Schuck wanted to sign him immediately, but it took about three years for Atlantic records to finally sign Mars to the label, because Atlantic felt that it was too early and that Mars still needed development as an artist.
Before becoming a successful solo artist, Mars was an acknowledged music producer, writing songs for Alexandra Burke, Travie McCoy, Adam Levine, Brandy, Sean Kingston, and Flo Rida. He also co-wrote the Sugababes' hit song "Get Sexy" and provided backing vocals on their album Sweet 7. His first musical appearance as a singer was in Far East Movement's second studio album Animal, featured on the track "3D". He was also featured on pastor and hip hop artist Jaeson Ma's debut single "Love" in August 2009. He reached prominence as a solo artist after being featured on and co-writing B.o.B's "Nothin' on You" and Travie McCoy's "Billionaire"; both songs peaked within the top ten of many charts worldwide. He said of them, "I think those songs weren't meant to be full-sung songs. If I'd sung all of "Nothin' on You", it might've sounded like some '90s R&B." Following this success, Mars released his debut extended play (EP), titled It's Better If You Don't Understand, on May 11, 2010. The EP peaked at the 99th position on the Billboard 200 and produced one single, "The Other Side", featuring singers Cee Lo Green and B.o.B. Mars collaborated with Green once more in August 2010 by co-writing his single "Fuck You".
2010–12: Doo-Wops & Hooligans
After serving as guest vocalist on B.o.B's and Travies McCoy's singles, Mars released "Just the Way You Are" on July 19, 2010. The song was the lead single from his debut studio album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in September as well as several other charts worldwide. The song holds the record of the longest-reigning debut format, spending twenty weeks atop Adult Contemporary. He also released two digital singles—"Liquor Store Blues" featuring Damian Marley and "Grenade" to promote the album, before confirming "Grenade" as the album's second single, in September 28, 2010. "Grenade" reached number one on Billboard in December and has also seen successful international chart performance. Released digitally on October 4 and physically on October 5, 2010, the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 55,000 copies. It received generally positive reviews from music critics, and has since sold six million copies globally. In February 2012, "The Lazy Song" was released as the album's third single. It became the album's third consecutive top five on the Hot 100, peaking on number four on October 23, 2010.
"Marry You" followed as the fourth single from Doo-Wops & Hooligans on August 22, 2011. Although it wasn't released as a single in the United States, it peaked at number 85 on the Hot 100 on January 15, 2011 due to strong digital sales, since then it has sold 2,2 million digital copies. In November, "Count On Me" was released as the album's fifth single in Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, it was announced on Mars' website, he recorded and co-wrote a new song titled "It Will Rain" for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The song was released for purchase via iTunes on September 27, 2011. It peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. During this period, he appeared on a number of collaborative singles, including "Lighters", a duet with Bad Meets Evil released on July 5, 2011. "Mirror", released on September 13, 2011, with Lil Wayne and "Young, Wild & Free" with Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg, from the Mac & Devin Go to High School soundtrack, was available for purchase on October 11, 2011. The songs peaked at number four, sixteen and seven at the Billboard Hot 100, respectively.
On September 19, 2010, Mars was arrested in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Casino for possession of cocaine. When talking to a police officer, Mars reportedly stated that what he did was "foolish" and that "he has never used drugs before". Mars pled guilty to felony drug possession, and in return for his plea, he was told that the charges would be erased from his criminal record as long as he stayed out of trouble for a year, paid a $2,000 fine, did 200 hours of community service and completed a drug counseling course. Nevertheless, during a cover story for GQ magazine in 2013, Mars said "I was young, man! I was in f---ing Vegas...I wasn't thinking", he further added "I was given a number one record and I'm out doing dumb sh--". Mars confessed that he lied to the authorities about having done cocaine before, saying "I don't know where that came from", adding "I was really intoxicated. I was really drunk. So a lot of that is a big blur, and I try every day to forget and keep pushing."
He opened for Maroon 5 on the fall leg of the Hands All Over Tour starting October 6, 2010 and co-headlined with McCoy on a European tour starting October 18, 2010. From November 16, 2010, to January 28, 2012, Mars embarked on the The Doo-Wops & Hooligans Tour in support of Doo-Wops & Hooligans, after turning down multiple offers to open for famous pop artists on arena tours, since the goal was to build a fan base by performing gigs at smaller, more intimate venues.
On February 13, 2011, Mars won his first Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, having received six nominations; Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Nothin' on You", Record of the Year for "Nothin' on You" and "Fuck You", Song of the Year for "Fuck You", and Producer of the Year, Non-Classical at the 53rd Grammy Awards. At the 54th Grammy Awards, Mars was nominated in six different categories; Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Grenade", and Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. However, Adele won all the categories he was nominated and ended up by losing to Paul Epworth for Producer of the Year.
2012–14: Unorthodox Jukebox and Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show
On March 22, 2012, it was announced that Mars had signed a worldwide publishing deal with BMG Chrysalis US. In September 2012, when interviewed by Billboard, Mars stated that the album would be more musically varied and refused to "pick a lane", adding "I listen to a lot of music, and I want to have the freedom and luxury to walk into a studio and say, 'Today I want to do a hip-hop, R&B, soul or rock record.'" He announced the album title Unorthodox Jukebox along with the ten songs which would make the final cut of the album and the title of the first single, "Locked out of Heaven", which was released on October 1, 2012. The lead single from Unorthodox Jukebox reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Canada and charted in the top ten in several countries worldwide.
Unorthodox Jukebox was released on December 11, 2012, and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with sales of 192,000. The album eventually peaked at number one on the Billboard 200, almost three months after its release. The album also charted number one in Switzerland and in United Kingdom, becoming the fastest selling album by a solo artist in 2012 in the UK. "When I Was Your Man", was released as the second single from Unorthodox Jukebox on January 15, 2013, and peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making Elvis Presley the only male who has reached five number one singles on the Hot 100 more quickly than Mars, and reached the top ten of fifteen countries. The third single "Treasure" peaked at number 5 in the United States and had less commercial success worldwide than the previous two. On May 24, 2013, Major Lazer released "Bubble Butt" as the fourth single from their album Free the Universe which featured Tyga, Mystic and Mars on the vocals, becoming Major Lazer's most successful single to date in the US. In late 2013, "Gorilla" and "Young Girls" followed as the album's fourth and fifth singles, and reached the top 35 on the Hot 100.
Mars began his second headlining tour, The Moonshine Jungle Tour, on June 22, 2013. It started in North America, and continued through Europe and Oceania, before concluding it in North America on October 18, 2014, as part of the eight shows at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to perform between December 2013 and October 2014. On September 8, 2013, NFL announced that Mars would headline the perform at the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show on February 2, 2014. During the performance he was joined by Red Hot Chili Peppers as a musical guest on the platform. It was the first Super Bowl halftime headlined by a performer under 30 and of Puerto Rican descent. The show is now the second most watched halftime show in the history of the Super Bowl, drawing a record rating of 115.3 million viewers, only surpassed by Katy Perry's Halftime Show, who had 3.2 million more viewers.
At the 56th Grammy Awards, Mars won the award of Best Pop Vocal Album for Unorthodox Jukebox and his single "Locked out of Heaven" was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, while "When I Was Your Man" earned a nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance. Aside from his music career, Mars reprised his role as Roberto in Rio 2, which was released in theaters on March 20, 2014. Like its predecessor, Rio 2 was a financial success and panned by critics. In October 2014, Mark Ronson announced that he would release a new single on November 10, 2014, titled "Uptown Funk", featuring Mars' vocals. The song was a commercial success reaching number one in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and Billboard Hot 100 along with several other countries. According to Billboard Mars was the twelfth richest musician of 2013, with earnings of $18,839,681. He ranked number one on the 2014 Forbes list "30 under 30", a tally of the brightest stars in 15 different fields under the age of 30, and thirteenth on the 2014 list for "The World's Most Powerful Celebrities" with estimated earnings of $60 million.
2015–present: Third studio album
After ending the Moonshine Jungle Tour, Mars began working on his third studio album. The artist hadn't come up with a date for the release, stating "Until it's done", adding "It's gotta be just as good if not better". Previously, the singer-songwriter was interviewed by that's Shanghai and gave some details of the new album, confirming Mark Ronson and Jeff Bhasker as producers. He further added, "I want to write better songs, I want to put on better shows, I want to make better music videos. I want my next album to be better than the first and the second", explaining the writing process of his songs "I don’t sit down and think, ‘I’m going to write a song’, Inspiration hits me always unexpectedly: on a plane, when I’m out or just before I go to bed. An idea will suddenly come to my mind, and sometimes I manage to turn it into lyrics the next day. Sometimes it’ll take me one year to get something real out of it. You can’t force creativeness".De Castro, Cynthia (January 5, 2011). 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"Donnis Hits the Road With Bruno Mars Joining the "Doo-Wops & Hooligans" Tour Kicking Off November 16th; Recently Named One of BET's Music Matters Artists; Continues North American Tour Alongside Matt & Kim; "FASHIONABLY LATE" Available at iTunes and All DSPs Now" (Press release). Marketwire. October 26, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2010. Toledo, Carolina (January 25, 2012). "Summer Soul Festival 2012 - Bruno Mars, Florence and The Machine, Rox, Dionne Bromfield e Seu Jorge". Omelete (in Portuguese) (UOL). Retrieved December 7, 2014. Zack O'Malley Greenburg (January 6, 2014). "From Cereal To Super Bowl: The Evolution of Bruno Mars". Forbes. Forbes, Inc. Retrieved March 1, 2014. "Grammy awards 2011: list of winners". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). February 14, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2013. "Final Nominations List: 53rd Grammy Awards" (PDF). Naras. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. 2010. Retrieved December 2, 2010. "Grammy Awards 2012: Winners and nominees list". Los Angeles Times. Eddy Hartenstein. Retrieved June 30, 2013. Paul Williams (March 22, 2012). "BMG Chrysalis captures Bruno Mars". Music Week. Dave Roberts. Retrieved March 26, 2012. "Bruno Mars to Release 'Unorthodox Jukebox' Dec. 11: Exclusive". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. September 28, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2012. "Bruno Mars Works It as 'SNL' Host and Musical Guest". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. October 21, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2013. Trust, Gary (December 27, 2012). "Bruno Mars Marks a Chart First With Hot 100 Leader 'Heaven'". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved January 7, 2012. "Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" Ascends to No.1 on the Billboard 200". Atlantic Records. Yahoo Finance. March 6, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2013. Lauren Kreisler (December 16, 2012). "Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox becomes fastest selling solo album of 2012". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 16, 2012. Trust, Gary (April 10, 2013). "Bruno Mars Lands Fifth Hot 100 No. 1 With 'When I Was Your Man'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 11, 2013. "Bubble Butt (Remix) [feat. Bruno Mars, 2 Chainz, Tyga and Mystic]" (in French). 7digital FR. Retrieved December 28, 2013. "Major Lazer – Chart history: The Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 6, 2014. Brad Wete (August 26, 2013). "MTV Video Music Awards Performances: The Hits and Misses". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 26, 2013. "Top 40/Mainstream > Future Releases". Allacess. Retrieved December 8, 2013. "Bruno Mars to Open Intimate New Venue, The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas with New Year’s Eve Shows". VegasNews.com. VegasNews.com LCC. September 25, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. Andrew Hampp (October 14, 2013). "Why The NFL and Pepsi Booked – But Didn't Pay – Bruno Mars For Super Bowl XLVIII (From the Magazine)". Billboard. Promotheus Global Media. Retrieved November 3, 2013. Jon Dolan (February 2, 2014). "Bruno Mars Brings Drum Solos, Chili Peppers, Nostalgia to Super Bowl". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved May 3, 2014. Denise M. Watson (February 1, 2014). "Bruno Mars will have all eyes on the halftime show". HamptonRoads.com. The Virginian Pilot. Retrieved May 3, 2014. "Despite rout, Super Bowl sets TV ratings record - Fox". Forbes. Forbes, Inc. February 3, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014. Gallo, Phil (February 2, 2015). "Katy Perry's Halftime Show the Most-Watched in Super Bowl History". Billboard. Proemtheus Global Media. Retrieved February 3, 2015. "2014 Grammy Awards Nominees". Naras. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 20th Century Fox Film (February 22, 2013). "Twentieth Century Fox Animation Announces RIO 2 Casting". Business Wire. Archived from the original on August 16, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013. "Rio 2 (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 11, 2014. "Rio 2 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on June 5, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2014. Daw, Robbie (October 30, 2014). "Mark Ronson Announces "Uptown Funk" Single, Featuring Bruno Mars". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved November 1, 2014. Billboard Staff (March 10, 2014). "Music's Top 40 Money Makers 2014: The Rich List". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 15, 2014. Zack O'Malley Greenburg (January 6, 2014). "30 Under 30: Bruno Mars And Music's Brightest Young Stars". Forbes. Forbes, Inc. Retrieved January 10, 2014. Dorothy Pomerantz (June 30, 2014). "Matthew McConaughey And Bruno Mars Are Among Newcomers On The Celebrity 100 List". Forbes. Forbes, Inc. Retrieved October 3, 2014. "Bruno Mars on His Next Album". Youtube. January 14, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015. Cerini, Marianna (March 24, 2015). "Bruno Mars talks Grammies, songwriting and Elvis ahead of his Shanghai show". that's Shanghai. Urbanatomy Media. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
ContentsArtistry1.1 Influences1.2 Musical style and themes1.3 Showmanship
InfluencesMusic artists such as Michael Jackson (left) and Prince (right) have influenced Mars.
As a child, Mars spent time impersonating Elvis Presley. This playact had a major impact on his musical evolution; he later reflected: "I watch the best. I'm a big fan of Elvis. I'm a big fan of 1950s Elvis when he would go on stage and scare people because he was a force and girls would go nuts! You can say the same thing for Prince or The Police. It's just guys who know that people are here to see a show, so I watch those guys and I love studying them because I'm a fan." He also impersonated Michael Jackson and Little Richard who played a lead role as inspiration. Afterwards, Mars was raised on his father’s doo-wop collection — “simple four-chord songs that got straight to the point” and on Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Frankie Lymon. During his youth, the hip-hop productions by The Neptunes and Timbaland, that were played on the radio constantly, influenced him.
Mars' musical style initially gravitated towards R&B since he was influenced by artists such as Keith Sweat, Jodeci and R. Kelly. During the same time, he also listened to 1950s rock 'n' roll, Doo wop music and Motown. In high school, classic rock groups such as The Police, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles, whose repercussions are notable on Mars' work. While growing up, Mars listened to singers with high voices, like Stevie Wonder and Freddie Mercury, and some others already mentioned above. Bob Marley, the heavy influence of local bands in Hawaii, was a major account for him and his reggae roots. Hip-hop acts like Jay-Z, The Roots and Cody Chesnutt were among some of Mars' favourites, and have contributed to his composition skills. All of these genres of music have influenced Mars' musical style; he observed that "It's not easy to [create] songs with that mixture of rock and soul and hip-hop, and there's only a handful of them". The artist also admires Classical music.
Mars has listed multiple artists as having inspired his work. Among these there are Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix. Others include Sly Stone, Carlos Santana, George Clinton and Coldplay. Mars also stated that he is a fan of Alicia Keys, Jessie J, Jack White, The Saturdays, Kings of Leon.
Musical style and themes
Mars' music has been noted for displaying a wide variety of styles, musical genres and influences, including pop, rock, reggae, R&B, soul, and hip hop. The debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans features influences of the former five genres, being ultimately a pop record. His subsequent release, Unorthodox Jukebox, as on his debut album, infuses with different genres in each song, including not only dance, rock reggae and soul but also balladry. Lyrically, the album shows some differences towards the former, addressing traditional notions of romance, male chauvinist sentiments, and a more sexual direction. The later caused him a serious controversy due to the explicit content on the song "Gorilla". Many of his songs, particularly on Doo-Wops & Hooligans, reflect on "feel-good", carefree, and optimistic sentiments. However, darker subjects are addressed in his songs, detailing failed relationships and self-destructive behaviour.
Mars claims that his work with other artists has influenced his musical style "'Nothin' on You' had a motown vibe, 'Billionaire' was a reggae acoustic guitar-driven song, though one of my favourites is the Cee-Lo Green song. I don't think anyone else could've sung that song. And there's 'Just the Way You Are.' If you know my story, you know I love all different genres of music" and maintains doo-wop as a major influence on his music. In addition, Mars states that growing up in Hawaii influenced his music, giving the songs a reggae sound. He explains, "In Hawaii some of the biggest radio stations are reggae. That music brings people together. It's not urban music or pop music. It's just songs. That's what makes it cross over so well. The song comes first." One of his music partners of The Smeezingtons, Philip Lawrence, stated "What people don't know is there's a darker underbelly to Bruno Mars". Nevertheless, most of his music is romantic and Mars himself says, "I blame that on me singing to girls back in high school."
Mars possesses a three octave tenor vocal range. His singing has received nothing but praise, Jon Caramanica of The New York Times commented that he is 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, a universal donor", while Tim Sendra from AllMusic described Mars' vocals on Doo-Wops & Hooligans as "the kind of smooth instrument that slips into your ear like honey". Jody Rosen from Rolling Stone called Mars a "nimble, soulful vocalist" on Unorthodox Jukebox. Conversely, Jim Farber of New York Daily News praised Mars' voice due to "the purity, cream and range of mid-period Michael Jackson" in a review of a concert promoting Unorthodox Jukebox.
Mars is known for his retro showmanship that is widely acclaimed by tour critics and reviewers. Rolling Stone magazine placed Mars at number 35 on their list of "50 Best Live Acts Right Now" in 2013; he's the youngest act besides Janelle Monàe and Lady Gaga to enter the list. They wrote: "Anyone from the age of 5 to 95 can walk out of a Bruno Mars concert feeling like the show was designed just for them. Mars walks the old-school walk (occasionally in James Brown's funky shoes) and talks the sexy talk, but he also nails the hits, leads a super-energetic nine-piece soul band, and rips a mean drum solo", praising the "spectacular version" of "Gorilla" that he performs live. Jason Lipshutz from Billboard described Mars performance as "lifeblood is entertaining and keeping smiles plastered on the faces of his onlookers, and he does a better job at it than almost anyone working in music right now." NFL's Sarah Moll and Tracy Perlman realized that "If you go to his concerts, it's 11-year-old girls to 65-year-old women-it's everyone", after seeing The Moonshine Jungle tour several times during the summer of 2013.
Journalist Monique from Mirrors Magazine says that "the showmanship on Bruno’s stage was like none other that I’ve ever seen" comparing him to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. He is, most of the time, accompanied by The Hooligans, a band that includes musicians from guitarists, to bassists, drummers, keyboardists, and horn players. They also serve as dancers and background singers. His shows feature choreographed dancing arrangements, heavily influenced by the disco era. In addition, long, mellow and soft interludes that echo the smooth R&B style, hugely famous during the 1990s, is an important part of Mars' shows. Mars is also able to play drums, guitar, keyboard, bass, piano, harmonica and beatbox. Mars is also known for his "fancy, slick and fantastic" footwork that is inspired by James Brown, all-band choreography and splits.
Co-manager, Brandon Creed, says that because Mars had "poured himself into his songwriting, then singing and recording the songs, they flow through his veins-it's his pulse. That's what people want: a connection with someone speaking the words they wish they could say. And on the other side, Bruno and the band are having a blast onstage, so you can't not have a good time. It's an infectious environment, the show you can't miss." Philip Lawrence said that "It harkens back to Earth, Wind & Fire and Michael Jackson when people came to a show and got a show".Cite error: The named reference Meetsbruno was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference BM_biography was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "Bruno Mars Interview – JustBrunoMars.com Exclusive". Archived from the original on 2011-05-04. Retrieved November 11, 2011. Caramanica, Jon (October 5, 2010). "Bruno Mars in Ascension". The New York Times (Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.). Retrieved October 7, 2010. Binkert, Lisa (October 21, 2010). "Bruno Mars Live: Billboard Tastemakers". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 15, 2010. Hope, Clover (October 4, 2010). "Bruno Mars on Damian Marley Track, Hip-Hop Influences, B.o.B.". Vibe. Vibe Media Group. Retrieved February 1, 2011. Fulton, Rick (November 30, 2012). "Bruno Mars: Every artist should want to be like Michael Jackson". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved March 14, 2015. Cite error: The named reference DailyNews was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Powers, Ann (July 24, 2013). "Bruno Mars Is More Than Your Average Pop Star". NPR. National Public Radio, Inc. Retrieved March 14, 2015. Copsey, Robert (January 20, 2011). "Bruno Mars 'in awe' of Alicia Keys". Digital Spy. Retrieved February 6, 2011. Cohen, Sandy (October 4, 2010). "Music Review: Singer-songwriter-producer Bruno Mars shows range and pop flair on debut CD". The News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved February 5, 2011. Mervis, Scott (October 7, 2010). "For the Record: Bruno Mars". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Block Communications. Retrieved October 16, 2010. Leah Greenblatt (September 29, 2010). "Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010)". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved September 29, 2010. Rosen, Jody (December 11, 2012). "Unorthodox Jukebox". Rolling Stone (New York). Retrieved December 11, 2012. Hyman, Dan (December 12, 2012). "Bruno Mars, ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’". Spin. Retrieved April 15, 2013. Chan, Andrew (December 9, 2012). "Bruno Mars: Unorthodox Jukebox". Slant Magazine. Retrieved December 9, 2012. Susanna Freymark (September 12, 2013). "Girls education campaigner calls for ban on sexualised Bruno Mars song 'Gorilla'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved September 25, 2013. Megan Vick (August 6, 2010). "Bruno Mars, "Just the Way You Are"". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 16, 2010. Toor, Amar (October 5, 2010). "Bruno Mars, 'Grenade' – New Song". AOL Radio Blog. AOL. Retrieved October 16, 2010. Johnson, Kevin C. (November 24, 2010). "Bruno Mars learned music biz by collaborating with big acts". STL Daily. STL Media Group. Retrieved December 23, 2010. Wood, Mikael (August 18, 2010). "Bruno Mars Is Not Soft". The Village Voice. Village Voice Media. Retrieved March 16, 2015. Sendra, Tim. "AllMusic ((( Doo-Wops & Hooligans > Overview )))". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 16, 2015. Jim Farber (June 30, 2013). "Bruno's shining ’70s show just Mars-velous during NYC stop". Daily News. Retrieved June 30, 2013. C. Johnson, Kevin (August 9, 2013). "Bruno Mars is consummate showman at Scottrade Center". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Ray Farris. Retrieved March 30, 2015. Rodman, Sarah (June 27, 2013). "Bruno Mars exudes energy". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 28, 2013. Farber, Jim (June 30, 2013). "Super Bowl halftime show star Bruno Mars brings old-school showmanship to dynamic performance". New York Daily News (Mortimer Zuckerman). Retrieved June 30, 2013. Stone, Rolling (July 31, 2013). "50 Best Live Bands; Best Live Musicians". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved March 30, 2015. Lipshutz, Jason (June 25, 2013). "Bruno Mars Romps Through 'Moonshine Jungle' Tour in Philadelphia: Live Review". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 22, 2014. Gail Mitchell (December 13, 2013). "Bruno Mars: Billboard Artist of the Year Cover Story". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 13, 2013. http://mirrorsmagazine.com/articles/concert-review-bruno-mars-moonshine-jungle-tour http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a522316/bruno-mars-live-at-londons-o2-arena-review.html Rogers, Ray (November 10, 2014). "Mark Ronson Says New Single With Bruno Mars 'Uptown Funk' Is a Milestone for Both of Them". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 23, 2014. Dolan, Jon (February 2, 2014). "Bruno Mars Brings Drum Solos, Chili Peppers, Nostalgia to Super Bowl". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved March 30, 2015. Orr, Gillian (December 9, 2012). "Meet the opinionated Bruno Mars". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved March 30, 2015. Paul Tingen (June 2011). "Ari Levine & The Smeezingtons: Producing Bruno Mars". Sound on Sound. SOS Publications Group. Retrieved July 27, 2013. Cite error: The named reference BM_Elvis_Presley was invoked but never defined (see the help page). http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/feb/02/bruno-mars-super-bowl-halftime-show-chili-peppers http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20782627,00.html
The Hooligans – Band members
On May 12, 2013 Mars tweeted a picture of himself using an electronic cigarette. On May 30, 2013 a press release was published reporting Mars investment in the NJOY Electronic Cigarette Company, "in order to quit smoking for his mother", since the singer "believes in the product and the company's mission".
Mars decided to invest in Chromatik, which makes digital versions of sheet music for the web and iPad. Mars said "I love that Chromatik will bring better music education into schools", he added "And I'm happy to be a part of it".
In 2014, Bruno Mars teamed up with three partners to launch the "Selvarey Rum" brand which includes Selvarey White, made of blended three and five-year aged Panamanian rums and the aged "natural cacao rum" Selvarey Cacao.
On February 26, It was announced that Mars had partnered with the Hawai'i Community Foundation and the GRAMMY Foundation to establish a GRAMMY Camp Scolarship Fund, in order to support the next generation of music makers with fund to provide financial assistance for qualified needs-based applicants from Hawai'i.
Mars' donated 100,000 dollars to the kids of Bantay Bata, who were among the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, in order to bring back the esteem and morale of the orphans who lost their families and homes. Bruno Mars will perform at the Make It Right gala, whose campaign gold is to "help build homes for people in need". Mars is also set to perform at the Robin Hood Foundation 's annual benefit in New York, whose goal is to "fight poverty in New York City by supporting more than 200 nonprofits with financial and technical assistance".Carolina Moreno (June 3, 2013). "Bruno Mars Invests In NJOY Electronic Cigarette Company, Started Using Product For Mom". Huffington Post. AOL. Retrieved January 30, 2014. Alyson Shontell (November 15, 2012). "Hey Look, Bruno Mars Is Investing In Startups". Business Insider. Business Insider Inc. Retrieved March 21, 2014. "Selvarey Rum". Liquor.com. Liquor.com LCC. Retrieved April 15, 2014. Xania Woodman (April 4, 2014). "Three New Celebrity Spirits Move Into the Spotlight". vegasseven. vegasseven LCC. Retrieved April 15, 2014. Naras (February 26, 2014). "Grammy Foundation Launches Bruno Mars Scholarship Fund". grammy.com. grammy.com. Retrieved February 26, 2014. MYX Philippines. "Bruno Mars' "Treasure" For Kids Affected By Typhoon Yolanda". MYX. Retrieved March 21, 2014. Debbie Emery (April 25, 2014). "Brad Pitt Launches New 'Make It Right' Campaign With Groupon". The Hollywood Reporter. Lynne Segall. Retrieved April 26, 2014. Amanda Gordon (April 7, 2014). "Bruno Mars, John Oliver to Headline Robin Hood Benefit". Bloomerang. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
AchievementsSee also: List of awards and nominations received by Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars has earned numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including two Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards and three MTV Europe Music Awards. In 2011, when Mars made the Time 100 list, B.o.B wrote "He has a musicality, a presence in his voice that I've never heard from anyone else...When he performs live, nothing is prerecorded or fudged. It's a straight-up, classic performance. That's so rare these days." In 2014, Mars became the artist with most top five entries on the Billboard Hot 100 since his first week in the chart. Along with Adele and John Legend, Mars is the only artist who has a song that only features piano and vocals to top the Hot 100. Besides this, he is the first male artist to place two titles as a lead act in the Hot 100's top 10 simultaneously. Mars was the most played artist at pop radio in 2013 according to Mediabase and became the first solo men artist whose first 13 Top 40 hits all reached the Top 10 of American Top 40.
According to International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI), "Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade" are two of the most sold singles digitally of all time, with sales of 12.5 million and 10.2 million, respectively, contributing for Mars to become the biggest selling artist of 2012. His songs "Just The Way You Are", "Grenade", "Locked Out Of Heaven" and "When I Was Your Man" have each sold over 4 million digital copies, making him the first male artist to do so as a lead singer. Five of his singles are counted among the best-selling singles of all time. As of 2014, Mars has sold over 12 million albums and 68 million singles worldwide. Nevertheless, as a singer, featured artist, producer and songwriter his sales surpass 130 million records worldwide. Mars' work has influenced numerous artists including Bridgit Mendler, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Leona Lewis, Jonas Brothers, Meghan Trainor and Selena Gomez.
Due to the huge tickets reselling activities that occurred during the week after the Super Bowl, and in order to limit that kind of profiteering, Hawaii Senate President Donna Mercado Kim introduced Senate Resolution 12, also known as the "Bruno Mars Act". The "Bruno Mars Act" limits all ticket purchases within 48 hours of the on-sale to the physical box office. It ensures that anyone who comes all the way to the box office to buy tickets for their favorite should would almost certainly be guaranteed to leave with a ticket in hand, dissuade ticket scalping. The State Senate in Hawaii passed the law."And The GRAMMY Went To ... Bruno Mars". NARAS. grammy.com. January 30, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014. "Bruno Mars - Brits Profile". BRIT Awards Ltd. Retrieved March 2, 2014. MTV Europe Music Awards for Bruno Mars:"MTV EMA 2011 – The Winners!". MTV Networks. November 7, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2013. "2013 MTV EMA: The Complete Winners List". MTV Networks. November 10, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2013. B.o.B (April 21, 2011). "The 2011 Time 100". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved October 4, 2013. Trust, Gary (December 10, 2014). "Taylor Swift Tops Hot 100, Meghan Trainor Scores Second Top 10". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2014. Trust, Gary (May 7, 2014). "John Legend's 'All Of Me' Tops Hot 100, Ariana Grande Debuts At No. 3". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 8, 2014. Trust, Gary (February 13, 2013). "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'Thrift Shop' No. 1 on Hot 100 for Fourth Week". Billboard. Retrieved February 14, 2013. "Mediabase - Year End 13". Mediabase. 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2013. American Top 40 (November 16, 2012). "Bruno Mars first man with 13 top ten hits". Twitter. Retrieved November 18, 2013. "Digital music report 2012". January 23, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2014. Paul Grein (November 6, 2013). "Chart Watch: Eminem & The Fab Four". Yahoo Music. Retrieved November 17, 2013. "Music subscription revenues help drive growth in most major markets". IFPI. IFPI. Retrieved March 28, 2014. Locked out of Heaven certifications:"ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. "Austrian single certifications – Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven" (in German). IFPI Austria. Enter Bruno Mars in the field Interpret. Enter Locked Out of Heaven in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen"Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2013". Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. "Canadian single certifications – Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven". Music Canada. "French single certifications – Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Bruno Mars; 'Locked Out of Heaven')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. "Italian single certifications – Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Bruno Mars in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically"Japanese single certifications – Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart – 11 MARCH 2013". NZ Top 40. Retrieved 30 March 2013. "Spanish Charts, 16th week 2013" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 28 April 2013. "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Bruno Mars; 'Locked Out of Heaven')". Hung Medien. "British single certifications – Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Locked Out of Heaven in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Search"American single certifications – Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH Petridis, Alexis (January 15, 2015). "Mark Ronson: Uptown Special review – designed to be a blockbuster, and probably will be". The Guardian. Retrieved January 18, 2015. Graff, Gary (2014-06-12). "Local roots fortify Bruno Mars’ musical director". The Oakland Press. Retrieved 2014-06-20. "Super Bowl 48 Halftime Show". NFL. Retrieved March 2, 2014. "Bridgit Mendler On 'Good Luck Charlie,' Music, And The Craziest Thing A Fan Has Asked Her". Huffington Postn. June 20, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2013. Marco della Cava (December 29, 2013). "Who inspires Britney? Beyonce, Bruno — and her ex JT". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved March 1, 2014. Bruna Nessif (September 23, 2013). "News/ Katy Perry Wants to Collaborate with Bruno Mars: "He's So Wildly Talented"—Watch Now!". E!. (E! Entertainment Television, Inc.). Retrieved March 1, 2014. Martin Lamont (November 27, 2013). "Leona Lewis reveals she'd love to work with Bruno Mars". Primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk. Primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk. LCC. Retrieved March 1, 2014. Vi-An Nguyen (March 25, 2013). "Joe Jonas: Bruno Mars Inspired the Jonas Brothers' New Album". Parade. Retrieved November 10, 2013. Raymer, Miles (August 1, 2014). "Pop phenomenon Meghan Trainor talks her viral hit 'All About That Bass'". Entertainment Weekly (Time Inc.). Retrieved December 26, 2014. "Selena Gomez Talks About Being Inspired By Bruno Marsh". Disney Dreaming. May 21, 2011. Jesse Lawrence (February 12, 2014). "Could "The Bruno Mars Act" Change The Way Tickets Are Bought For High Demand Concerts?". Forbes. Forbes, Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2014. Jesse Lawrence (April 4, 2014). "Sparse Primary Market Helps Drive Up Price of Bruno Mars Tickets on Secondary Market". Forbes. Forbes, Inc. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
ContentsPersonal life1.1 Relationships1.2 Mother's death1.3 Legal issues
Mars was previous linked to singer-songwriter and actress, Rita Ora. They met in 2009 and split up in 2011, due to both getting famous and "work got in the way", according to Ora. Mars began dating model Jessica Caban in 2011.
On June 2, 2013, a publicist for Atlantic Records confirmed to the Associated Press, on condition of anonymity since it was not allowed to speak on record, that Mars' mother had suffered a brain aneurysm. She died on Saturday, June 1, 2013, at age 55 at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Later, on June 7, 2013, the singer broke the silence regarding the loss of his mother, via Twitter, showing his sorrow and gratitude to the fans for the support, he wrote "So thankful for all the love during the most difficult time in my life. Ill be back on my feet again soon. Thats what mom wants, she told me".
On January 28, 2014, Demetrius Orlandus Proctor filed a lawsuit, claiming he holds the copyright for the Travie McCoy and Mars' track "Billionaire". Proctor claims he owned the copyright to the music and lyrics of the track since March 31, 2011, though the song was released a year before. As evidence, Proctor has submitted a United States Copyright Office registration certificate for "Frisky Vol. 1 to 30 (Tapes)", made in 2000. Proctor accused the defendants of "willful and intentional" copyright infringement, seeking destruction of all copies of the recording. Therefore he is the only entitled to reproduce and distribute the song. His only request: "Defendant shall destroy all copies of Plaintiffs' Recording that Defendants have downloaded onto any computer hard drive or server without Plaintiffs' authorization and shall destroy all copies of that downloaded recording transferred onto any [other] physical medium or device".Maz, Jason (August 17, 2012). "Rita Ora reveals Bruno Mars romance". MTV. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved March 28, 2015. Rodriguez, Priscilla (January 29, 2014). "8 tings to know about Bruno Mars' girlfriend". Latina. Lauren Michaels. Retrieved March 28, 2015. "On the Cover: The Secret History of Bruno Mars". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. April 24, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2014. Coleman, Miriam (June 2, 2013). "Bruno Mars' Mother Dies of Brain Aneurysm". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved March 27, 2015. Mumbi Moody, Nekesa (June 2, 2013). "Bruno Mars' Mother Dead At 55, According To Source". The Huffington Post. AOL. Retrieved March 27, 2015. Staff, THR (June 7, 2013). "Bruno Mars Breaks Silence on His Mother's Death". The Hollywood Reporter. Lynne Segall. Retrieved March 27, 2015. Ferreiro, Laura (June 7, 2013). "Bruno Mars Speaks Out on His Mother’s Death". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. Retrieved March 27, 2015. } Martins, Chris (January 29, 2014). "Wanna Be a 'Billionaire': Bruno Mars and Travie McCoy Sued Over Copyright". Spin. Spin Media. Retrieved March 28, 2015. Martins, Chris (January 29, 2014). "Wanna Be a 'Billionaire': Bruno Mars and Travie McCoy Sued Over Copyright". Spin. Spin Media. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
ContentsControversies1.1 Stereotypes1.2 Tyler, The Creator1.3 Kanye West
In the cover story for Entertainment Weekly, Mars stated that the song "Nothin' on You" was rejected because of his race by a "music industry decision-maker – a guy he won't name". That experience made him feel like a "mutant", and he says that was his lowest point. "Even with that song in my back pocket to seal the deal, things like that are coming out of people's mouths. It made me feel like I wasn't even in the room." On April, 2013 during a cover story for GQ magazine, Mars confessed that he changed his last name due to people from the music industry who took him as another Latino artist, and even convince him to sing in Spanish. Mars said "Your last name's Hernandez, maybe you should do the Latin music, this Spanish music... Enrique [Iglesias] is so hot right now”. Nevertheless, Mars used his childhood nickname Bruno and changed his surname to Mars, in an effort to “avoid being stereotyped”.
Tyler, The Creator
In the song "Yonkers", Tyler disparages numerous artists, including Bruno Mars. Tyler, The Creator also disparages Mars in The Game's song "Martians vs. Goblins", in which he and Lil Wayne are featured artists. Bruno Mars, in response to the verse "stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus," said, "[Tyler] has to wait in line if he wants to stab me...[Tyler's] definitely not the first guy that's said something like that to me and he's not going to be the last."
On November 21, 2013 during a performance Kanye West gave his opinion regarding the MTV Video Music Awards, that were held on August 25, 2013. West said "Bruno Mars won all the motherf--king awards and s--t." he continued, "What I care about is if you’re an artist and you work hard as f--k and the streets say that you deserve that s--t. Then can’t no motherf--king networks try to gas everybody up so they can sell some product with the prettiest motherf--ker out." Nevertheless, on February 26, 2015, he publicly apologized to Bruno Mars on Twitter while asking him to sing a hook on a song that he co-produced. West asked Tyler, the Creator to direct the music video, who previously had a dispute with Mars."Bruno Mars Says His First No. 1 Hit Was Rejected Because of His Race". Y101. Retrieved July 4, 2013. Cite error: The named reference GQ_interview was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Goodman, William (May 10, 2011). "Bruno Mars Responds to Tyler, the Creator's Dis". Spin. Spin Media. Retrieved December 26, 2011. "Kanye West: 'Bruno Mars Won All The Motherf--king Awards'". Huffington Post. Prometheus Global Media. November 21, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2015. Stutz, Colin (February 26, 2015). "Kanye West Apologizes to Beck -- And Bruno Mars Too". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 3, 2015.