Created on: January 08, 2013
Bruno Mars has barely been out of the music news since 2010 when he released his first album, ‘Doo-Wops and Hooligans.’ However, his venture into the world of music began far earlier than that.
Born Peter Gene Hernandez in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1985, his parents, of Filipino and Puerto Rican descent, were both involved in the local music scene. According to
biography.com, they started a Las Vegas-style revue on Waikiki Beach that ensured Bruno, as he came to be nick-named, grew up around music. At the age of 4, he starred in the revue as Elvis and so began his performing career. He later added Michael Jackson performances to his repertoire. In high school, he started a band with some friends and performed alongside his family’s act.
For Bruno, however, the Hawaiian music scene wasn’t enough and he decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a music career after graduating from high school. His aim was to perform himself, but he discovered that, despite all his experience, his career didn’t take off as quickly as he wanted and a record deal with Motown Records led to a dead end. Reluctant to admit defeat, in the meantime, he decided to turn to song-writing, something that provided him with another outlet for his creativity, and set up a production team with Ari Levine and Philip Lawrence called the Smeezingtons.
The Smeezingtons proved to be incredibly successful, producing hits for others including Flo Rida’s ‘Right Round’ and Travie McCoy’s ‘Billionaire.’ He also co-wrote Cee Lo Green’s hit single ‘F___ You’ and, perhaps more importantly, McCoy’s ‘Billionaire’ and B. o. B.’s ‘Nothin’ on You’ both featured Mars’ vocals, which finally gave him the platform he needed to become a solo artist under the name of Bruno Mars.
His first album, ‘Doo-Wops and Hooligans,’ was released in October 2010, following the success of the lead single, ‘Just the Way You Are.’ More successful singles were to follow, most notably ‘Grenade,’ but also ‘Marry Me,’ ‘Lazy Song’ and ‘Runaway Baby.’ Although generally classed as a pop album, Mars’ song-writing forays into various types of music, including reggae, hip hop, rock and soul. Along with his sixties-style appearance, the doo-wop influence of his childhood could also be heard.
By the end of 2010, Mars had definitely made his mark on the US music industry and was quickly becoming a world-wide phenomenon. 2011 continued to be hugely successful for Mars when he won his first Grammy Award and it was announced that he would sing the self-penned ‘It Will Rain,’ the theme song for ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.’ Meanwhile, his 2010 singles continued to garner awards. Fans, however, were getting restless for new music and it was with relief that the announcement of a new album, ‘Unorthodox Jukebox,’ was announced for the end of 2012.
The first single from the album, ‘Locked Out of Heaven,’ did well in the music charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Although ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ wasn’t quite as explosively well-received as Doo-Wops and Hooligans on the whole, it was critically acclaimed, with most critics agreeing that all the songs on the album were engaging.
Despite the fact that Mars’ music career took a long time to develop, the time and energy he put into it seem to have paid off and, as the music that he writes appeals to such a variety of music fans, it is likely that he will be around for many years to come.
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