Born in Honolulu, Hawaii on Oct. 8, 1985, Peter Gene Hernandez comes from a family of musicians. His mother is of Filipino and Spanish descent, and his father is half Puerto Rican and half Jewish. He's not only a very successful singer, but an acclaimed songwriter and producer and plays the drums, bass, keyboard and guitar. At the age of 4, he was performing five days a week with his family's band, The Love Notes. Aside from his own songs, he's written hit singles for Flo Rida, CeeLo Green, Travie McCoy and B.O.B.
Born in Seattle, Washington on June 19, 1983, Ben Haggerty was reared by parents of Irish descent who, although not musical themselves, were very supportive of his love of music. He started to write lyrics at 14, and since 2000, he's released one mixtape, two albums and three EPs. Along with his producer, Ryan Lewis, their single "Thrift Shop" sold more than 2.2 million copies. It was the first time since 1994 that a song without the support of a record label peaked at No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart.
Bruno Mars: Mars was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in 2011. He has sold 10 million albums and 58 million singles worldwide and has five No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts.
Macklemore: "Can't Hold Us," Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' second single, also reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 Chart, making them the first duo in chart history to have their first two singles make No. 1. When their album, The Heist, was released last year, it charted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Bruno Mars: 1) His parents met while performing. His mother was hula dancing and his father was playing percussion. 2) Mars learned to do a great Elvis impression, as his uncle was a professional Elvis impersonator; that skill landed him a cameo in the film Honeymoon in Vegas at the age of 6. 3) Bruno was arrested for cocaine possession in 2010.
Macklemore: 1) In 2008, Macklemore went to rehab for drug addiction and alcoholism. His song "Starting Over" is about his relapse in 2011. 2) Macklemore is a big fan of the Seattle Mariners. 3) Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hold an annual contest where fans prove their fandom through a creativity test. Winners are treated to a pizza party held by the duo.
Bruno Mars: In between touring, singing and dancing, Mars naturally keeps fit. His favorite food is chicken adobo, the national dish of the Philippines.
Macklemore: It seems as though Macklemore and Mars both keep their bodies toned through performing. His favorite go-to food is pho.
Bruno Mars: Supports charities such as Red Cross, The Rainforest Foundation and Musicians on Call, to name a few.
Macklemore: Interested in reaching a younger generation with his music, he would conduct workshops with a program called Gateways for Incarcerated Youth, which focused on education and cultural identity. With songs like "Same Love," he reflects his support for equal rights.
Bruno Mars: He has a puppy named Geronimo.
Macklemore: No pets at this time.
Bruno Mars: He moved to Los Angeles right after graduating from high school to pursue his musical career.
Macklemore: He earned a Bachelor's degree in 2005 from Evergreen State College.
Bruno Mars: He has been dating his girlfriend, Jessica Caban, for a year.
Macklemore: As of the beginning of this year, he's engaged to his girlfriend of seven years, Tricia Davis.
Check out both of these talented musicians on the AMA Awards this Sunday!
Mara Marini is a Canadian film, television and theater actress perhaps best known for her recurring role as Brandi Maxxxx on the hit NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation. Marini has also appeared in a number of indie comedy and horror films. In 2013, she launched a popular digital comedy video series called Inside Dating on Break.com, will soon be guest-starring on Disney's Kickin' It and shooting a politically incorrect feature comedy this fall. For more information on Mara, check out her official website www.maramarini.com, follow her on Facebook or on Twitter at @popgloss.
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