While 28-year-old Bruno Mars didn't release his debut album, Doo Wops and Hooligans, until 2010, chances are you've been listening to his music for a while. It may seem like Bruno was an overnight success, but he's been ambling toward greatness pretty much since birth!
Read on for five things you may not have known about Super Bowl halftime performer Bruno Mars.
His Birth Name Is Peter Gene Hernandez. Bruno's birth certificate doesn't say "Bruno Mars." Bruno was actually a childhood nickname; his real namesake was his dad, Peter Hernandez, a Puerto Rican-Jewish man from Brooklyn.
His Stage Name Comes From a WWF/WWE Wrestler. Bruno was born Peter — so where did Bruno Mars come from? The singer told Rap Up, "Bruno is after Bruno Sammartino, who was this big fat wrestler. I guess I was this chunky little baby, so my dad used to call me that as a nickname.
The original Bruno is pictured to the left. Bruno Mars must have looked… a whole lot different as a baby!
What about that stage surname? "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," he said. "So I was like I guess I’m from Mars."
He Was a Baby Elvis Impersonator. When Bruno was a kid, his dad and uncle ran a Hawaiian variety show, sometimes featuring Bruno as an Elvis impersonator — starting at age 4.
It was hard to care about school, Bruno told GQ. "It was like turning into Batman. I'd go to school and kids are calling me Peter and we're playing baseball and kickball and s—t, and then — 'All right, guys, I've got to go!' — you put on a sequined jumpsuit, and all of a sudden you're Bruno, the world's youngest Elvis impersonator!"
It's no surprise that his dad groomed him to love The King. Among his other projects, the elder Peter ran an Elvis memorabilia store!
He Didn't Make it on His First Try. Let Bruno be an example to anyone trying to break into showbiz: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
Bruno first moved to Los Angeles at 17 to try to break into music. Despite landing a Motown contract and later, a brief period on Will.i.am's management roster, he didn't really break through until 2010 when he was featured on the B.o.B single "Nothin' on You," which he also wrote. In the interim, he worked as a songwriter, penning hits for the likes of Flo Rida and Brandy.
Did you learn something new about Bruno? Excited for the Super Bowl? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!