Pop music fans can’t turn on the radio without hearing a Bruno Mars tune in the mix. Mars, born Peter Gene Hernandez, moved from his native Hawaii — where he impersonated Elvis Presley in his family’s band at age 4 — to Los Angeles to pursue a music career, initially writing music for artists like Flo Rida and Travie McCoy. Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Mars’ debut album, was released in 2010 and to date has been certified 39-times platinum worldwide. Earning the singer a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, the album includes the catchy singles “Just the Way You Are” and “Grenade.”
Mars’ second album, Unorthodox Jukebox, hit music store shelves in December 2012 and featured the lead single “Locked Out of Heaven.” In an interview with Rolling Stone, the ultra-private Mars revealed that his popular follow-up single, “When I Was Your Man,” was written for his girlfriend, model Jessica Caban, when Mars worried the couple would break up. They are still dating.
One of six children from a musical family, Mars suffered a devastating loss in 2013 when his mother, hula dancer and singer Bernadette, died of a brain aneurysm.