BILLIONAIRE Bruno Mars [official video]

>> Monday, March 21, 2011

Who is Bruno Mars? Here is a short background: born Peter Gene Hernandez 25 years ago in Hawaii to a Puerto Rican father and Filipino mother, and is also known worldwide as a sought-after collaborator of other contemporary pop acts. Even before “Just the Way You Are” was released, there were two songs, B.o.B’s “Nothin’ on You” and Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire,” that Mars co-wrote and which featured his soulful tenor on lead vocals. The tunes became big hits as well — “Nothin’ on You” went to No. 1 and “Billionaire” reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Mars — who said he was nicknamed Bruno by his father after an Italian professional wrestler, Bruno Sammartino, and added Mars as a cool moniker — is very proud of his Filipino roots.

“My mother always had stories about the Philippines where she was born. It rubbed off on us because she’s so proud of her heritage,” Mars told the Inquirer via e-mail.


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