This year, we're celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month with Future Hispanic History Month highlighting a variety of rising stars who are creating history before our very eyes. The latest celebrity figure we're putting the spotlight on is Bruno Mars.
The singer/songwriter, who can expertly play a bevy of instruments, has a mixed ethnic background of Puerto Rican and Jewish from his father, and Filipino and Spanish on his mother's side. Mars (real name: Peter Gene Hernandez) has refused to be put in a box, and has rearranged the sound of pop with an effortless swagger.
In an interview with GQ, he revealed that people in the music industry tried to stereotype him as a Latin artist based on his given name. “[Their response would be:] Your last name’s Hernandez, maybe you should do the Latin music, this Spanish music... Enrique [Iglesias] is so hot right now,” he told the magazine.
So he ended up going with Bruno Mars, thus creating a stage name that allowed him to freely explore various genres. The singer was introduced to us in 2010, with his smooth feature on B.o.B's "Nothin' on You." Since then, Mars has released two albums (2010's Doo-Wops & Hooligans and 2012's Unorthodox Jukebox), scored six No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, dominated two Super Bowl halftime shows and has four Grammys under his retro belt.
Along with his too-cool-for-school band The Hooligans, Bruno shows off a natural charisma in his music (which is a mix of funk, pop, reggae and R&B) and on stage. He also has a philanthropic side, teaming up with the Grammy Foundation in 2014 for the GRAMMY Camp Scholarship Fund that helps the next generation of musicians.
Check out a throwback Fuse interview with Bruno Mars below, where he talks about his "Locked Out of Heaven" single: