Peter Gene Hernandez, best known as his stage name Bruno Mars, is an American recording artist, songwriter, and music producer. Mars was born on October 5, 1985 to Pete and Bernadette "Bernie" Hernandez in the Waikiki, Hawaii. Mars was one of six children raised within a family of musicians. Mars credits his lifelong love of music to his family.
Mars began making music at a young age and began performing at local venues during his childhood home town as a child. In 1990 Mars was featured in the tabloid shopper "MidWeek" as a "Little Elvis" and went on to a cameo role in the film Honeymoon in Vegas in 1992. Mars attended local schools and expanded his musical talents with his family's band performing an eclectic mix of reggae, hip hop, R&B, and rock while impersonating songs by Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, The Isley Brothers, and The Temptations. Mars attended the President Theodore Roosevelt High School until graduating in 2003 at the age of 17. Mars went on to pursue his musical career in Los Angeles, California and began work as a producer with the production company The Smeezingtons, consisting of Mars, Philip Lawrence, and Ari Levine. Following Mars' unsuccessful solo album deal with Motown, the production company went on to produce and pen songs for the Sugababes, Travie McCoy, B.o.B., Justin Bieber, Brandy Norwood, K'naan, Flo Rida, Chad Hugo, Lil Eddie, Kid Cudi, and Cee-lo Green. Atlantic Records' Aaron Bay-Shuck discovered Mars in 2006 and wanted to sign Mars after hearing him play guitar but the deal took three years to pursue. Bay-Shuck ended up signing The Smeezingtons on as songwriters and producers for many of the label's artists. Bay-Shuck refers to the initial failing of Mars' solo career as a "self discovery" period which helped cull and refine the type of artist Mars would grow to become.
The songwriting and production success of many of Mars' collaborative efforts, which later included B.o.B.'s "Nothing On You" and Ceelo Green's "F*ck You!", Mars released his first debut extended play on May 11, 2010, entitled It's Better If You Don't Understand." Months later, on October 5, 2010, Mars released a full length debut album entitled Doo-Wops & Hooligans. The lead single "Just The Way You Are" went straight to Billboard's #1 spot on the Hot 100. Subsequent tracks also captured the attention of millions of fans and acclaim from critics. The success of Doo-Wops & Hooligans paved the way for Mars to open for Maroon 5 on the fall leg of the Hands All Over Tour and co-headline Travie McCoy's tour.
Mars success was short lived following a Las Vegas arrest on September 19, 2010 for possession of 2.6 grams of cocaine. Mars admitted that his actions were "foolish" and that he had "never used drugs before" upon arrest. An initial court hearing was postponed and rescheduled for February 4, 2011. If convicted, Mars could serve up to four years in prison and face a $50,000 dollar fine.
Despite Mars' legal woes, his blend of reggae, doo-wop, soul, rock, rhythm, and guitar blends a musical style backed by raw talent. Here are the 10 Best Bruno Mars Songs: