“24 karat diamond in the air—–” it’s 7 O’clock and you’re driving home. You have Bruno Mars on Spotify and you’re singing all the way home. It doesn’t matter that you’re off key and probably sound like a broken trumpet. His songs are catchy and they always put you in a good mood. Uptown Funk comes on and you turn the volume up. You stop at the red light and raise your hands to the roof. The song is so good that you don’t even care if the guy in the car next to you is laughing or taking a video. When the light turns green, you put your hands on the steering wheel and start singing as loud as you can.
Peter Hernandez (Bruno Mars) always had a love for music. He’s been performing on stage since he was four years old. But his path to success and Billboard hits came from years of hard work and struggle. His story starts in one of the largest cities in Hawaii.
Early Life – Bruno Mars Story
Bruno Mars was born in the beautiful city of Honolulu, Hawaii on October 8, 1985. His parents, Pete Hernandez and Bernadette Bayot, named their baby boy Peter Gene Hernandez. Mars grew up with six siblings: five sisters and one brother. Bruno was a family nickname and according to Jamie, Mars’ older sister, the nickname “just stuck” because he was “…so confident, independent, really strong-willed and kind of a brute” even as a toddler.
Bruno Mars passion for music
Mars’ love for music definitely started with his parents. Growing up, his father was a Latin percussionist and his mother was a singer. They played shows with his uncle’s band on Waikiki Beach covering Motown hits and doo-wop melodies. According to Mars, “Everyone in my family sings, plays instruments. It’s what we do.” Mars’ sisters: Tiara, Jamie, Presley, and Tahiti, actually formed a girl band called LYLAS, the name is an acronym for Love You Like a Sister.
His family’s love for music rubbed off on him at a young age. When Mars was four years old, he was a fabulous Elvis impersonator. So he joined his family on stage and performed alongside his parents and uncle. As he got older, he started performing more pieces including some classic Michael Jackson songs.
Growing up, Mars always had a variety of instruments at his disposal. In an interview with A&E, Mars said, “I’ve always had a drum set, a piano, a guitar … and never got trained to play. It was just always there. That’s just how I learned, just being surrounded by it my whole life.”
In high school, Mars and his friends started a band called The School Boys. His band performed on stage alongside his family in Honolulu. In 2003, Mars graduated from high school and moved to Los Angeles, California. While he was there, he got a strong dose of reality. He said, “It’s not like what you see in movies, where you walk into a record company and you’re given all these great songs to sing. You have to write the song the world is going to want to hear and play it over and over again. I learned that the hard way here in L.A.”
After hearing the songs he wrote, Mars’ friend introduced him to Phillip Lawrence. They started composing songs together and sold a few songs to record labels. Neither Mars nor Lawrence wanted to sell the songs but they needed the money. Mars’ talent as a songwriter started taking off when Flo Rida, Brandy, and Travie McCoy began singing his songs. He wrote hit songs such as Right Round, Long Distance, Billionaire and co-wrote K’Naan’sWavin’ Flag, which played at the FIFA World Cup in 2010.
When Mars was told to describe the life of an artist, he said, “You really have to come into it with the whole package, as a salesman. You’ve got to say, ‘This is who I am, this is my music, get in or get out.’ You have to really bring something to the table.”
In 2010, after spending years writing songs for other people, Mars got his chance to sing. His song Nothin on You became a number one hit on the Billboard Singles Chart. In October of the same year, Mars came out with his first solo album Doo-Wops and Hooligans, a name inspired by his family’s band.
Bruno Mars first Album
Doo-Wops and Hooligans made the Top 3 Billboard album charts. 2010 was a big year for Bruno Mars. After his successful album, he released two more singles: Grenade and The Lazy Song. Both songs made the Top 10 Billboard singles chart that same year. In 2011, Bruno Mars was nominated for five different Grammys including Producer of the Year and Record of the year. At his first Grammys, Mars won the title of Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
After the success of his first album, Mars said, “…People haven’t seen nothing. They don’t even know what I’m about to do,’ and that’s what I can’t wait to show the world.” Sure enough, the world didn’t. Mars’ next album made the Billboard charts again.
Bruno Mars Billboard hits
In 2012, Bruno Mars performed Runaway Baby at a live telecast. His energy radiated from the stage and inspired every one to start dancing in their seats. Towards the end of 2012, Mars came out with Unorthodox Jukebox. Locked out of Heaven, one of Mars’ top hits, was on the album. This song stayed on the Billboard Top 100 for almost two months. Mars’ song When I was Your Man was another Billboard hit, reaching number 1 on the list. And who can forget Mars’ collaboration with Mark Ronson last year?
“This hit, that ice cold
Michelle Pfeiffer, that white gold
This one for them hood girls
Them good girls straight masterpieces
Stylin’, whilen, livin’ it up in the city
Got Chucks on with Saint Laurent
Got kiss myself, I’m so pretty”
Their song Uptown Funk won Record of the Year at the Grammys.
Mars’ most recent song 24K Magic music video has reached over 195 million views since its release on October 6th.
Bruno Mars story today
While describing his journey to success, Mars said, “Everything’s good right now. It’s really paying off because now my songs are on the radio. It took me a while to finally get it, but when I got it, I think I got it right. And I’m very proud of how my songs are representing me as an artist.”
Since the beginning of his career, Bruno Mars has won countless awards for his music and songwriting including: American Music award for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist in 2011, Billboard Music Awards Top Radio Song in 2011, Brit Awards International Male Solo Artist in 2012 and 2014, Grammy Awards Record of the Year in 2016 and many more.
Mars’ songs are catchy, well written, and always get you dancing. Bruno Mars story and his love for music shines in every song he writes, sings, and performs. Mars is talented beyond words and his music can only be described as magical.
Go ahead. Pick one of his songs because any one of his songs has the ability to lift your spirits. While the song is playing take William Purkey’s advice and “…dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth.”