Singer-songwriter Bruno Mars was born on October 8, 1985, in Honolulu, Hawaii. By the early 2000s, he had begun to find success by writing songs for popular artists, including K’Naan’s “Wavin’ Flag,” the theme song for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. After several years as one of pop music’s premier songwriters, Mars broke out as a singer in his own right with the 2010 hit “Nothin’ on You.” Other popular songs by Mars include “Just the Way You Are” (2010), “Locked Out of Heaven” (2012) and the Grammy-winning “Uptown Funk!” (2015).
Born Peter Gene Hernandez on October 8, 1985, in Honolulu, Hawaii, popular singer-songwriter Bruno Mars grew up in a very musical family. His father, Pete, was a Latin percussionist from Brooklyn, and his mother, Bernadette (“Bernie”), was a singer. Mars received his nickname, “Bruno,” while he was still a baby. “The name Bruno came from baby times,” older sister Jamie explained. “Bruno was always so confident, independent, really strong-willed and kind of a brute—hence the name Bruno—and it kind of just stuck.”
In Waikiki Beach, Mars’s family performed a Las Vegas-style revue that included Motown hits, doo-wop melodies and celebrity impersonations. Growing up around entertainers, Mars began picking up musical instruments from early childhood. “I’ve always had a drum set, a piano, a guitar … and never got trained to play. It was just always there,” he later recalled. “That’s just how I learned, just being surrounded by it my whole life.” At the age of 4, he joined the family musical act as an Elvis impersonator and quickly become one of the stars of the show. He continued to perform with his family throughout his childhood, and as he approached adolescence he added Michael Jackson to his impersonation repertoire.