5 Things You Didn't Know About Bruno Mars

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Singer, songwriter and producer Bruno Mars became a music star in the summer of 2010 after his involvement in two big hits. He achieved huge commercial success with such hits as "Grenade" and "The Lazy Song" and, as of 2013, Mars had 14 Grammy nominations. Even with his celebrity, some facts about the man born Peter Gene Bayot Hernandez remain largely unknown.

5 Personal Anecdotes

Music fans often don't get a chance to see the lighter side of celebrities, which makes them human. According to a July 2011 article from Mix 105.1, a CBS radio affiliate, Mars' favorite food is a popular Philippines dish called chicken adobo. The article also noted that his favorite color is maroon and he has a number of tattoos that celebrate his family and passions, including his mother's name on his right shoulder.

4 What's in a Name

As a kid, Mars was commonly known by the nickname "Little Elvis." The stage name "Bruno" actually developed from a nickname given to him by his father as a kid. Mars was a heavyset youngster, and his dad gave him the label as a comparison to wrestler Bruno Sammartino, who was also sizable. Actually, Mars has a very slender 5-foot, 5-inch frame.

3 A Mother's Love

Some people are surprised to learn that Mars, who is of Puerto Rican and Filipino descent, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mars' mother, Bernadette Hernandez, was a hula dancer and singer and had a lot of influence on her kids' musical interests. Mars' four sisters formed a musical group called "Lylas," and his brother plays drums in his band. His mom died at the young age of 55 on June 1, 2013, of a brain aneurysm.

2 Songwriting Genius

Even with all of his accomplishments as a singer and performer, Bruno Mars' greatest musical gifts may actually lie in songwriting. Mars' breakout in music during the summer of 2010 included feature performances on the songs "Billionaire," which he wrote for Travie McCoy, and "Nothin' On You," which he wrote for B.o.B. Flo Rida and Cee Lo Green are among the other notable artists Mars' has written songs for.

1 Instrument Versatility

Casual music fans are used to seeing Bruno Mars at the mic on awards shows and in concert performances, with backing from a band. However, he is actually an extremely versatile and talented musician. Along with singing, Mars is gifted on the guitar, piano and drums. If it weren't for his need to shake and move during live performances, he could be a one-man band.

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