BRUNO MARS! DO YOU KNOW HIM? WHERE HE CAME FROM?
Peter Gene Hernandez (born October 8, 1985), known professionally as Bruno Mars, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, 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. After being dropped by Motown Records, Mars signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 2009.
In 2009, he co-founded the production team The Smeezingtons, responsible for the singles “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy. He featured on the hooks for both singles, becoming recognized as a solo artist. His debut studio album Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010) included the international and U.S Billboard Hot 100 number one singles “Just the Way You Are” and “Grenade”, as well as the number-four single “The Lazy Song”. Mars’ second album, Unorthodox Jukebox (2012), was number one in the United States. Its singles “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man” reached number one in the US, while “Treasure” became a number-five single. In 2014, Mars collaborated with Mark Ronson on “Uptown Funk”, a single which performed well on many music charts worldwide, including the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and UK.
His third studio album, 24K Magic (2016), received seven Grammy Awards and yielded the successful singles “24K Magic”, “That’s What I Like” and “Finesse”. To date, he has sold over 130 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. Mars 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.
Mars has received many awards and nominations, including eleven Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, three Guinness World Records, and was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2011. In December 2013, he ranked number one on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Mars is known for his stage performances and retro showmanship. He 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. Mars performs in a wide range of musical styles.
But where did he come from?
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 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 as a child, and was of Filipino, 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 resemblance to professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.
Mars came from a musical family which exposed him to a diverse mix of 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. Mars’ uncle was an Elvis impersonator, and also encouraged three-year-old Mars to perform on stage. Mars performed songs by artists such as Michael Jackson, The Isley Brothers, and The Temptations. At the age of four, Mars began performing five days a week with his family’s band, The Love Notes, and became known on the island for his impersonation of Presley. In 1990, Mars was featured in MidWeek as “Little Elvis”, and later appeared in a cameo role in the film Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), and performed in the halftime show of the 1990 Aloha Bowl.
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 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 he performed in a group called The School Boys.
After Mars’ sister in Los Angeles played Mars’ demo for Mike Lynn, (the A&R at Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment), Lynn summoned Mars to Los Angeles. In 2003, shortly after graduating from 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 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 due to “the music industry tried to pigeonhole him as another Latino artist, and even convinced him to sing in Spanish.”
So now you know, or did you already?
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