Bruno: from Elvis impersonator to superstar

Bruno Mars, whose real name is Peter Gene Hernandez, was born in Hawaii in 1985.

As far back as his early childhood his entire family was involved in the music business. His mother was a singer and a dancer, his father did Little Richard impersonations, and his uncle was an Elvis impersonator. They all encouraged little Peter’s talents. He regularly impersonated Elvis, Michael Jackson, The Temptations and others, and at the age of four joined the family band, The Love Notes.

In the early 90s he even made a movie appearance as “Little Elvis” in the movie“Honeymoon in Vegas”.

When he was 12 (1997) his parents split up, and the family band broke up leaving Peter (Bruno) without a regular gig to showcase his growing talents. He lived with his father for a few difficult years sleeping in cars and on rooftops.

When he was 18, (2003) he moved to Los Angeles to renew his musical career. He was signed fairly quickly with Motown Records but that went nowhere and he was soon dropped.

But in 2009 he signed with Atlantic Records and formed a production company called The Smeezingtons. From that point the talents developed as a child started to pay dividends and his career rocketed upwards.

His debut studio album Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010) included the hit singles Just the Way You Are, Grenade, and The Lazy Song and peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S. It rose to number one in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and Just the Way You Are won the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

Continued success over the next few years made Mars one of the best selling musical artists of all time. Mars has sold over 180 million singles and 26 million albums worldwide. He has had 7 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, and had 5 of those faster than any solo artist other than Elvis.

The practice track is here along with many other samples.

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