Backstage with Bruno Mars

No Lies Radio Music – By Teri Perticone – Saturday July 18, 2020

Bruno Mars – 24K Magic [Official Video]

Bruno Mars

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.

Life and career
1985–2003: Early life and musical beginnings

Peter Gene Hernandez was born on October 8, 1985,[1] in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Peter Hernandez and Bernadette San Pedro Bayot, and was raised in the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu.[2]

His father is of half Puerto Rican and half Ashkenazi Jewish descent (from Ukraine and Hungary), and is originally from Brooklyn, New York.[3][4][5] His mother emigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii as a child, and was of Filipino, and some Spanish, ancestry.[3][4] His parents met while performing in a show in which his mother was a hula dancer and his father played percussion.[5] At the age of two, he was nicknamed “Bruno” by his father, because of his resemblance to professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.[6][7][8]

Mars is one of six children and came from a musical family which exposed him to a diverse mix of genres including: reggae, rock, hip hop, and R&B.[9][10] His mother was both a singer and a dancer, and his father performed Little Richard rock and roll music.[11] 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.[7] 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.[12] In 1990, Mars was featured in MidWeek as “Little Elvis”, and later appeared in a cameo role in the film Honeymoon in Vegas (1992),[7][13] and performed in the halftime show of the 1990 Aloha Bowl.[14]

The time Mars spent impersonating Presley had a major impact on his musical evolution and performing techniques.[15] He later began playing guitar after being inspired by Jimi Hendrix.[16] 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.”[17][3] When he attended President Theodore Roosevelt High School he performed in a group called The School Boys.[18]

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.[19] In 2003, shortly after graduating from high school at the age of 17, Mars moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a musical career.[7][13] 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.”[20] 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.”[21]

Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man [Official Video]

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.

Bruno Mars – Treasure [Official Music Video]

Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk (Official Video) ft. Bruno Mars

2004–2010: Production work and It’s Better If You Don’t Understand

Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Mars signed with Motown Records in 2004, in a deal that “went nowhere”, and had a conversation with’s management which turned out to be fruitless.[23][21] 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.[23]

After Mars was dropped by the label less than a year after being signed, he stayed in Los Angeles and landed a music publishing deal in 2005 with Steve Lindsey and Cameron Strang at Westside Independent.[24][19]

Lindsey showed Mars and Jeff Bhasker (who Mars met through Mike Lynn) the ins and outs of writing pop music, and acted as a mentor helping them to hone their craft. Bhasker explained that Lindsey would “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.”[24][19][25] Mars played cover songs around Los Angeles in a band with Bhasker and Eric Hernandez, (Mars’ brother), who is now The Hooligans’ drummer.[26]

Bruno Mars – Coming Home Documentary

The Hooligans – Band members
Bruno Mars – lead vocals, guitar (2010–present)
Philip Lawrence – backing vocals (2010–present)
Phredley Brown – keyboard (2010–2012), lead guitar (2012–present), backing vocals (2010–present)
Jamareo Artis – bass guitar (2010–present)
Eric Hernandez – drums (2010–present)
Kameron Whalum – trombone (2010–present)
Dwayne Dugger – saxophone (2010–present)
James King – trumpet (2010–present)
John Fossit – keyboard, piano (2012–present)
Former members[177]
Kenji Chan – lead guitar (2010–2012)

When Lawrence was first told he should meet Mars he was reluctant to do so since he did not 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.”[27] 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, who was looking for songs for a reunited Menudo. He liked their song “Lost”, which was written for Mars. The duo did not want to give the song away, but when they were offered $20,000 for it they agreed. The sale of this song allowed them to continue working,[27] and Mars and Lawrence decided that they would write and produce songs together for other artists.[19] Eventually, Creed became Mars’ manager for nine years.[27][28]

At the 2011 Grammy Awards, Mars won his first Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Just the Way You Are” and received other six nominations for his work. Best Rap Song, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Record of the Year for “Nothin’ on You”, the latter category along with Song of the Year for “Fuck You”, and Producer of the Year, Non-Classical as The Smeezingtons.[72][73] At the 2012 Grammy Awards, Mars lost all the six categories in which he was nominated including, 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 as The Smeezingtons.[74]

Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Bruno Mars – Grenade [Official Video]

During this time, he also won the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist, International Male Solo Artist at the Brit Awards and the Echo Award for Best International Male.[75][76].

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.

Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like (LIVE from the 59th GRAMMYs) (Official Video) Feb 13, 2017

Bruno Mars – Finesse (Remix) (feat. Cardi B] [Official Video]

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.

“24K Magic” was released as the lead single from 24K Magic on October 7, 2016.[121] It was promoted with a performance on Saturday Night Live and peaked at number four in the United States.[122][35] It reached the top spot in Belgium, France and New Zealand.[38] In November, CBS announced an interview segment on “60 Minutes”, presented by Lara Logan, in which Mars talked about his new album and humble roots. This was his first television appearance in four years, coinciding with the release of 24K Magic, on November 18, 2016.[123][124] 24K Magic debuted number two on the Billboard 200, Canada, France and New Zeland.[123][50][38] It received positive reviews from critics and was composed mainly by Shampoo Press & Curl, a production team consisting of Mars, Lawrence and Christopher Brown, who replaced The Smeezingtons.[125][126] “That’s What I Like” was released as the second single on January 30, 2017 and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.[127][35] However, it had less success in other markets than the previous single.[38] In June, the original version and a remix with David Guetta of “Versace on the Floor” were issued as the album’s third single.[128][129] It reached the top 35 of the Hot 100.[35] In November, “Chunky” was announced as the album’s fourth single in Australia.[130] “Finesse” featuring Cardi B was released as the fifth single from 24k Magic on January 4, 2018.[131]

The singer’s third headlining tour, the 24K Magic World Tour, began in March 2017. It has sold over 2 million tickets and grossed $200 million worldwide, so far.[132] On September 10, Us Weekly announced plans for a TV special by Mars at the Apollo Theater in New York.[133] Two days later, the singer confirmed that he would be starring in his first TV exclusive concert titled Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live at the Apollo, a one-hour special, aired by CBS on November 29. The show was produced by Fulwell 73 Productions, with Ben Winston and Mars as co-producers.[134] The American Music Awards of 2017 provided Mars with AMAs for Artist of the Year, Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist and Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist. “That’s What I Like” won Mars AMAs for Favorite Soul/R&B Song and Video of the Year. 24K Magic won him AMAs for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Album.[135] At the 2018 Grammy Awards, Mars won in the six categories for which he was nominated. Album of the Year and Best R&B Album for 24K Magic, Record of the Year for the title track and Song of The Year, Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song for “That’s What I Like”. 24K Magic also won a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical awarding the engineers for their work on the album.[136]

Bruno Mars Wins Album Of The Year | Acceptance Speech | 60th GRAMMYs 2018

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