Let the music play on
Globally recognized pop artist Bruno Mars is a Grammy-winning performer whose hooky sound draws upon a mix of R&B, hip-hop, and dance-rock influences. An all-around entertainer, Mars also plays multiple instruments, produces, and choreographs. His path to mainstream success was lengthy. After working a string of behind-the-scenes songwriting jobs, he broke through with 2010's Doo-Wops & Hooligans, becoming the first male vocalist in two decades to crack the Top Ten with his first four singles, including "Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade." He has remained a chart regular, earning his first Billboard 200 number one with his sophomore album, Unorthodox Jukebox, which spawned the massive hit "Locked Out of Heaven," and took home the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album. Mars again hit the top of the charts singing on Mark Ronson's "Uptown.
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BRUNO MUSIC CAREER
Mars signed with the record company Motown in 2004. Although no recordings resulted, the relationship did pave the way for Mars’s introduction to songwriter Philip Lawrence. Mars, Lawrence, and sound engineer Ari Levine began writing and producing songs for other artists under the name the Smeezingtons, creating new music with a vintage feel. Popular songs produced by the Smeezingtons included “Long Distance” (2008) for contemporary rhythm-and-blues (R&B) singer Brandy, “Right Round” (2009) for hip-hop MC Flo Rida, and “Wavin’ Flag” (2009) for Somalian Canadian rapper K’Naan; the latter became the theme song for the FIFA World Cup 2010.
After several years as one of the pop music industry's premier songwriters, Mars finally broke out as a singer in his own right with the 2010 hit "Nothin' on You." The song was written for the Atlantic Records rapper B.o.B., but the record label decided to enlist Mars himself to croon the heartfelt chorus. The track proved an enormous hit, skyrocketing to No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart, and instantly transforming Bruno Mars from a behind-the-scenes composer into a pop performer.
'DOO-WOPS & HOOLIGANS
Several months later, Mars released his first solo single, "Just the Way You Are," from his debut studio album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, released in October 2010. The song quickly proved to be another hit for the artist, putting him back at the top of the Billboard singles chart. Additionally, Doo-Wops & Hooligans reached No. 3 on the Billboard album charts, and its follow-up singles, "Grenade" and "The Lazy Song," cracked the Top 10 on the singles chart. Mars scored another hit with "It Will Rain," a song that he contributed to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 soundtrack in late 2011.
Mars went on to pick up several Grammy Award nods for his debut effort, including for Album of the Year. While he went home empty-handed, Mars gave a career-building performance at the 2012 telecast. His energetic performance of his 1960s-influenced song "Runaway Baby" (2010) had even the most jaded music industry veterans moving in their seats. Mars showed himself to be a high-energy live performer and did an homage to the late James Brown in his act.
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In December 2012, Mars released his second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox, featuring yet another gamut of hit songs and quickly meeting with both commercial and critical acclaim. The album's lead single, "Locked Out of Heaven," topped the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks, won an MTV Award for Best Music Video and landed in the Top 10 in 20 countries. The project's second release, "When I Was Your Man," reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the song "Treasure" won an MTV Award for Best Choreography in 2013. In 2014 Mars also won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album.
The hits continued for Mars as seen with his collaboration with producer/songwriter/musician Mark Ronson. The two had a big No. 1 tune with their dance jam "Uptown Funk," from Ronson's 2015 album Uptown Special.
SUPER BOWL AND BEYOND
In September 2013, news broke that Mars was selected to be a part of the half-time entertainment at the next Super Bowl. This honor put him in the same league as such past performers Madonna and Justin Timberlake. Mars returned to the Super Bowl stage in February 2016, performing at the half-time show with Beyoncé Knowles and Coldplay. Just a week later, Beyoncé presented a jubilant Mars and Ronson the Record of the Year Grammy for "Uptown Funk."
GRAMMY-WINNING' 24K MAGIC'
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Mars continued his immensely successful run with the release of his third studio effort, 24K Magic, in November 2016. The album included the catchy title track, a retro-tinted dance number in the vein of "Uptown Funk," as well as the sultry "That's What I Like," which climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Mars cleaned up at the 2018 Grammy Awards, winning in all six categories for which he drew nominations, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year. He also delivered a quality performance alongside Cardi B for his latest single, "Finesse," cementing his standing as arguably the top all-around act in the business.