The state of Hawaii is one of the most racially diverse places in the world. There are more people with multi-ethnic backgrounds than any other state. According to www.to-hawaii.com, 38.6 percent of Hawaii’s population is Asian, 24.7 percent is White, 10 percent is Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders; while 8.9 percent is Hispanic, 1.6 percent is Black or African American, 0.3 percent is American Indian and Alaska Native. Finally, 23.6 percent of all Hawaii residents are of multi-ethnic background consisting of two or more races.
One of the most well-known celebrities from Hawaii is Bruno Mars. We all know him as the sexy heartthrob who belts out sweet lyrics about catching a grenade for us. Little did we know, he was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii to a father of half Puerto rican descent, and half Ashkenazi Jewish descent, and a mother of Filipino descent. His real name, Peter Gene Hernandez, comes from his father, who was also the one to nickname him “Bruno.”
His background is rich with diversity, as are his musical interests. As a child, he and his five siblings indulged in reggae, hip hop, rock and R&b. At the age of four, his family started a band called “The Love Notes.” He became known in Hawaii for his Elvis impression, earning him the title “little Elvis,” and he even starred in the 1992 film Honeymoon in Vegas because of it.
He attributed his birth state of Hawaii as a major influence on his musical career when he said, “Growing up in Hawaii made me the man I am. I used to do a lot of shows in Hawaii with my father’s band. Everybody in my family sings, everyone plays instruments…I’ve just been surrounded by it.”
At age 17, Mars left Hawaii to pursue his musical career in Los Angeles. His past two albums have been very successful, and rumor has it, he is currently working hard on producing his third album. His debut album, Doo-wops and Hooligans, reached number three on the Billboard 200 in 2010. Following the release of this album, Mars was nominated for seven Grammy awards, and won Best Pop Vocal Performance.
No male vocalist has been as successful so early in their career since his childhood idol, Elvis Presley.
His second album, Unorthodox Jukebox, did even better on the charts, reaching number one in both the U.S., the U.K., and other international markets. It also won him a Grammy in 2012 for Best Pop Vocal Album. His hit tracks “When I was your man,” “Treasure,” and “Locked out of Heaven” made him a world-wide sensation. Since beginning in 2010, Mars has had five singles reach the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. No male vocalist has been as successful so early in their career since his childhood idol, Elvis Presley.
Beside two Grammy awards, the 11 million albums sold, and 68 million singles he has sold, Mars developed an impressive list of achievements:
- He has been featured in Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
- He was listed as number one on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.
- He had the esteemed opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show, where he put on an exhilarating performance that won’t soon be forgotten.
B.o.B, a fellow artist that Mars performed with before he hitting fame, explained Mars’ immeasurable talents by saying, “He has a musicality, a presence in his voice that I’ve never heard from anyone else…When he performs live, nothing is pre-recorded or fudged. It’s a straight-up, classic performance. That’s so rare these days.”
Besides outrageous showmanship and his creative concoction of reggae, soul, funk and pop music; a diverse cultural upbringing is an under-looked attribute that has made Bruno Mars a notorious celebrity around the world.
Check out Bruno Mars and his memorable Halftime Show performance during the 2014 Super Bowl.