Since he burst onto the scene in 2010, Bruno Mars has released bop after bop after bop.
It’s universally agreed that Bruno Mars is a sensational songwriter, and his track record is just pure evidence of that. We’ll get into that incredible catalogue in just a moment, but first, let’s find out more about little Peter Hernandez, Hawaii’s favourite “Little Elvis” …
The Family Band
It’s no real surprise that Bruno Mars (Bruno being his nickname from age two!) went on to be such a success when you learn that he’s been surrounded by a whole range of musical styles since such a young age, with a family of musicians to play with! In fact, the family band The Love Notes defined many of Bruno’s early years.
Though he was born and raised in Hawaii, his mother is of Filipino and Spanish ancestry, whilst his father is half Puerto Rican and half Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Both parents were hugely musical themselves, his mother being a singer and dancer and his father performing Little Richard music frequently. His uncle was actually an Elvis Presley impersonator, and it was him who encouraged Bruno to perform songs by the king of Rock and Roll. Bruno was soon known as “Little Elvis” in Hawaii and was a popular act! At the age of 17, it was time for Bruno Mars to leave Oahu for the bright lights of LA.
Shot To Fame
Before becoming a successful soloist, Bruno was a highly regarded producer and songwriter, working with artists like Alexandra Burke, Adam Levine, Sean Kingston and Flo Rida. A couple of the most notable songs that he worked on, and which also feature his vocals, are “Nothin’ On You” with B.o.B, and “Billionaire” by Travis McCoy. These two tracks are really what shot Bruno Mars into the public eye.
It was before long that Bruno released his first studio album which spawned three number one singles, “Just The Way You Are”, “Grenade” and “The Lazy Song”. 2012 saw the release of his second album, Unorthodox, which produced another two number ones, “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man”. Another chart topper arrived in 2014, the fruits of his collaboration with Mark Ronson for “Uptown Funk”. This song was HUGE, and spent multiple weeks at the top of both the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles charts.
And if you thought it couldn’t get much better than this, album number three, 24K Magic, raised the bar once again. It received a total of 7 Grammy Awards, including major categories Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Of course, the album also produced more charting songs like “24K Magic” and “That’s What I Like”.
But perhaps one of the most exciting developments to come out of Bruno’s career yet (in our humble opinion, anyway!) is his collaboration with Anderson .Paak for their duo, Silk Sonic. The duo have only released two tracks so far “Skate” and “Leave The Door Open”, the latter of which already topped the Billboard Hot 100. The rest of the album is to come this month, so we’ll be keeping our eyes (and ears) peeled for that!
It’s safe to say that we’re huge fans of Bruno Mars here at RSL, and we’re not alone. He’s sold over 130 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. His trophy shelf boasts many accolades, including 11 Grammys, 3 Brits and 9 AMA’s. Perhaps ironically, Bruno Mars is the fastest male artist since Elvis Presley to achieve their first five number one singles. It’s truly come full circle for this pop star!
Mr. Mars is featured on our new Rockschool Vocals syllabus, with “Marry You” on Grade 3. If you’ve enjoyed learning more about this sensational artist then be sure to check out some of the other artists we’ve featured, including Rihanna, Pharrell Williams and Amy Winehouse.