Singer/songwriter/producer Bruno Mars visited The Recording Academy headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., on Aug. 10, accompanied by singer/songwriter Philip Lawrence and Brian Wiggins on piano, for an intimate acoustic set including "Just The Way You Are" and "Billionaire," a track on which he collaborated with rap artist Travie McCoy.
Following the performance, Mars participated in 5 Questions With…, answering questions regarding the importance of membership in The Recording Academy, hearing his music for the first time on the radio, musical influences and mentors, and where the name Bruno Mars came from.
"I've been Bruno ever since I can remember," said Mars. "The Mars just kind of came out of nowhere…people say I'm out of this world."
Asked about his biggest career moment so far, Mars said, "The fact that I get to perform and sing songs for people and put smiles on their faces is doing a lot for me these days."
Born Peter Hernandez in Waikiki, Hawaii, Mars began his career at age 4 as the youngest Elvis impersonator on the island. Mars would later meet songwriter Phillip Lawrence and the pair co-wrote Brandy's 2008 recording "Long Distance." The following year, Mars co-wrote his first No. 1 hit, Flo Rida's "Right Round," which he followed by co-writing and performing on B.o.B's No. 1 single "Nothin' On You." In 2010 he released his debut solo EP, It's Better If You Don't Understand.
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