The 2018 Grammys are nearly upon us, and that means that it’s high time we celebrate at least one of the nominees. The current apple of our eye is Bruno Mars, who has been wowing us for years with his powerhouse vocals and smooth, sultry musical stylings. This jack-of-many-musical-trades has managed to garner himself numerous Grammy nominations this year, which is certainly a seal of approval for his talents. But really, how well do you know the singer who has brought us recent hits like “24K Magic” and “That’s What I Like”? How many facts do you have stored in your noggin about the singer who is set to perform his latest single, “Finesse,” alongside Cardi B during the 2018 Grammys?
Still drawing a blank? Well, worry not, because we’re here to get you all up to date with the Bruno Mars knowledge you need to know.
1. He has something in common with Michael Jackson
Mars’ January 2018 single, “Finesse” featuring Cardi B, has made 24K Magic his third album in a row to have three U.S. top 10 singles, making him the second artist ever to accomplish such a feat. The first was Michael Jackson.
2. His 24K Magic World Tour landed him another career milestone
His 24K Magic World Tour had already grossed over $200 million dollars as of January 2018.
3. He grew up in Hawaii
Mars was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father, originally from Brooklyn, New York, is half Puerto Rican and half Ashkenazi Jew, while his mother, who emigrated to Hawaii as a child, was of Filipino descent.
4. His stage name was inspired by a wrestler
Mars was born Peter Gene Hernandez. So, where did the name Bruno Mars come from? Back in the day, his dad gave him the nickname “Bruno” because Mars was chunky as a baby and reminded him of the hefty wrestler Bruno Sammartino. As for the “Mars” part, the singer told Rap-Up, “The ‘Mars’ came up just because I felt like I didn’t have no pizzazz, and a lot of girls say I’m out of this world. So I was like, I guess I’m from Mars.”
5. Musical talents run in his family
His father is a drummer and his late mother was a hula dancer. In fact, the two met while performing at a show. Apparently, they passed on their abilities to their kids. Mars’ sisters have a musical group called The Lylas. Meanwhile, his brother Eric is a drummer in Mars’ backup band, The Hooligans.
6. He was a young Elvis impersonator
When Mars was a kid, his dad and uncle ran a Hawaiian variety show that sometimes featured the singer as an Elvis impersonator. That’s right — he’s been performing since age 4.
7. He’s a songwriter
Aside from creating his own hits, Mars has also penned many popular tracks for other artists. In fact, before becoming a successful solo artist, he was a known music producer, writing tunes for writing artists like Travie McCoy, Brandy, Sean Kingston, CeeLo Green and Flo Rida.
8. It took him a while to break out
Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Mars signed to Motown Records in 2004 in a deal that “went nowhere,” and a conversation with Will.i.am’s management was also fruitless.
In 2006, he met his future manager at Atlantic Records, Aaron Bay-Schuck. After hearing Mars play a couple of songs on the guitar, Bay-Schuck wanted to sign him immediately. But the label felt that it was too early and that Mars still needed development as an artist, so Mars didn’t officially sign to Atlantic Records until three years later. He broke out when he was featured on the B.o.B single “Nothin’ on You,” which he also wrote.
9. He’s run into trouble with the law
In 2010, Mars was arrested in Las Vegas for possession of cocaine. He pleaded guilty to felony drug possession, and in return for his plea, he was told that the charges would be erased from his criminal record as long as he stayed out of trouble for a year, paid a $2,000 fine, did 200 hours of community service and completed a drug counseling course.
10. He’s already matched Elvis Presley in a big way
In 2013, Mars scored his fifth No. 1 hit with “When I Was Your Man.” The song came just a little over three years after his first chart-topper — meaning Mars racked his first five Hot 100 No. 1’s faster than any male since Elvis Presley.
11. He has four Grammys
Mars has won four Grammys: the first in 2011 for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Just the Way You Are,” the second in 2014 for Best Pop Vocal Album for Unorthodox Jukebox and two in 2016 for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, both for “Uptown Funk.”
12. He’s one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time
Throughout his singing career, he has sold over 100 million singles and albums, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Four of his singles are also counted among the best-selling singles of all time.
13. He does more than sing
Not only is Mars a talented singer, but he plays the drums, keyboard, bass and guitar.
14. He has tattoos
Mars has four tattoos: a gypsy, an anchor and two on his upper arms, which are dedicated to his parents. On his right upper arm is his late mother’s name, Bernadette, written in a heart, and on his upper left arm are the words “Pete’s Boy” as a tribute to his father.
A version of this article was originally published in October 2016.