American singer, songwriter, record producer, musician, and dancer, Peter Gene Hernandez, known professionally as Bruno Mars, is celebrating his 36th birthday today, Friday, October 8.
Mars is known for his stage performances, retro showmanship, and for performing in a wide range of musical styles, including pop, R&B, funk, soul, reggae, hip hop, disco and rock. Mars is accompanied by his band, the Hooligans, who play a variety of instruments, such as electric guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, drums, and horns, and also serve as backup singers and dancers.
Mars was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Peter Hernandez and Bernadette San Pedro Bayot, and was raised in the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu.
His father is of half Puerto Rican and half Ashkenazi Jewish descent (from Ukraine and Hungary), and is originally from Brooklyn, New York. His mother emigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii, and was of Filipina and some Spanish ancestry.
His parents met while performing in a show in which his mother was a hula dancer and his father played percussion. At the age of two, he was nicknamed “Bruno” by his father because of his resemblance to professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.
Mars is one of six children and came from a musical family which exposed him to a diverse mix of music genres, including first and foremost Rock and Roll, and later reggae, rock, hip hop, and R&B.
His mother was both a singer and a dancer, and his father performed Little Richard rock and roll music, which inspired him as a young child. His uncle was an Elvis impersonator, and also encouraged three-year-old Mars to perform songs on stage by that artist and Michael Jackson.
Mars’s music has been noted for displaying a wide variety of styles, musical genres, and influences, including pop, R&B, funk, soul, reggae, hip hop, and rock.
His debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, is predominantly a pop, reggae pop and R&B record. It is influenced by most of the genres mentioned above.
Many of his songs on the album, reflect “feel-good”, carefree, and optimistic sentiments. However, darker subjects are addressed in his songs, detailing failed relationships, pain and loneliness.
In honor of Bruno Mars’ 36th birthday, tell us your favorite song by the star.