The Surprising Age Bruno Mars Wrote His First Song

The coronavirus may have upended Bruno Mars' multi-year residency at Park MGM in Vegas, but that won't stop us from celebrating the 10-year anniversary of his debut studio release, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. With hits like "Just the Way You Are" and "Marry You" still making the rounds on wedding playlists, the album holds nostalgic value for many. It's a timeless quality that the 11-time Grammy Award winner has been honing since the days he was known as Peter Gene Hernandez, the name given to him at birth by his musically inclined parents, Bernadette and Peter "Dr. Doo-Wop" Hernandez (via Rolling Stone). Papa Hernandez later nicknamed the future star Bruno, after World Wide Wrestling Federation champ Bruno Sammartino.

Growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii, young Bruno began performing at the tender age of 2 with the Hernandez family band, The Love Notes, a doo-wop revival group. With all eyes on him and parents who could show him the ropes, Bruno handily filled big shoes as a mini Elvis impersonator, which he later parlayed into a cameo on the 1992 Nicolas Cage and Sarah Jessica Parker romantic comedy, Honeymoon in Vegas. At the age of 4, the budding musician recorded his very first song, "I Love You Mom" (via Philippine Daily Inquirer): "My mommy helps me with my voice / 'Cause a superstar singer is my first choice / I love you, Mom, you are my favorite girl / I love you, Mom, you'll always be my favorite girl." Clearly, Bruno was born to win over the ladies!

Here's what Bruno Mars is working on today

Sadly, Bruno Mars' mother passed away of a brain aneurysm in 2013 (via CNN) — too soon to see her pop genius son sweep the Grammy Awards in 2018, where he took home six awards, including Album of the Year for 24K Magic (via Recording Academy Grammy Awards). However, the "That's What I Like" singer continues to give both of his parents shoutouts, posting Instagram tributes to them in 2020 on both Mother's Day and Father's Day.

Since wrapping up his 24K world tour in 2018 and in between playing gigs through his residency in Vegas, Bruno, who celebrated his 35th birthday in October 2020 (via Good Morning America), has kept busy collaborating with a diverse range of talent — from Cardi B to Ed Sheeran to Gucci Mane to Chris Stapleton — reflecting his skill in multiple genres (via Las Vegas Magazine). 

Next up for the one-time child prodigy? Working with Disney on a music-themed film that will feature him performing new original work (via Variety). We can't wait!