NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 04: Bruno Mars sighting on April 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic)
Alo Ceballos

It's been two years since slick R&B-pop singer Bruno Mars released his debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans, whose breakout hit "Grenade" featured the best piano-pulling suicide video to date. Since then, he's been penning songs for Adam Levineworking with Major Lazer and becoming the "perfect man" (for Funny or Die, at least). But until now, Mars has been pretty quiet about his Hooligans follow-up.

In an upcoming Billboard cover story, though, the crooner announced Dec. 11 as the release date for his sophomore album Unorthodox Jukebox, with first single "Locked Out of Heaven" set for release Oct 1. True to its title, the album will feature a diverse group of producers, including the Smeezingtons, Mark Ronson, Diplo and Supa Dups, the latter responsible for Hooligans'  "Our First Time" and "Liquor Store Blues."

Mars pointed to industry criticism for his more diverse sound. "I've had big record label presidents look me in the face and say, 'Your music sucks, you don't know who you are, your music is all over the place, and we don't know how to market this stuff. Pick a lane and come back to us,'" he told the magazine. "That was disgusting to me, because I'm not trying to be a circus act."