Popular Fil-Am singer to perform in Manila, Cebu this summer

January 9, 2011 2:51 am 

By Ben Cal

MANILA, Jan. 8 — Bruno Mars, the talented and popular Filipino-American singer-songwriter-producer, is coming for a live performance in Cebu and Manila on April 7-8.

This was relayed to this writer by Ms. Grace S. Valera, executive director of the US-based Filipino Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC), over the weekend.

Bruno Mars’ meteoric rise continued in 2010 when his song entitled “Grenade” which he composed, hit at the top of the Billboard’s Hot 100 and still there to date.

“Grenade is the no. 1 song in the country. What a way to end my year! Thank you all for giving me the greatest year of my life,” Bruno said on his website.

In just one week “Grenade” sold over 500,000 copies, according to Valera.

Valera said all Bruno’s songs were nominated at the Teen Choice, BET Hip Hop and MTV awards in the U.S.

For his sterling performance in 2010, the 25-year-old Bruno has been nominated for seven Grammys for the upcoming February award show as a recording star, songwriter and record producer.

“Indeed, Bruno is one of the hottest stars in pop music today. He is the first male act in over 13 years to take his first two charting radio singles as a lead artist to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In fact, Mars is the biggest act to come out of Hawaii in almost 40 years, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, which featured him in its cover recently. ‘No artist from Hawaii has hit the national charts harder straight out of the box since Bette Midler went platinum with her debut album, The Divine Miss M, and won the Grammy Award for best new artist in 1973,’” said the Star-Advertiser.

Valera also said that the New York Times called Bruno Mars as “one of the most versatile and accessible singers in pop, with a light, soul-influenced voice that’s an easy fit in a range of styles, a universal donor.”

Bruno whose true name is Peter Gene Hernandez was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on October 8, 1985.

His family is inclined to music, Valera said. Bruno’s Filipina mother, Bernadette “Bernie” Hernandez is a vocalist and his Puerto Rican father, Pete is an “incredible percussionist” who has a band.

He got his nickname Bruno after the famous Italian-American wrestling world champion Bruno Sammartino, one of the best and strongest wrestlers of all time. His father was an avid fan of Sammartino.

How he got the name Mars, he said: “I felt like I didn’t have no pizzazz, and a lot of girls say I’m out of this world, so I was like I guess I’m from Mars.”

Recalling his childhood, Bruno 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.”

Mars started singing at the age of four by impersonating Elvis Presley and was featured by MidWeek newspaper as “Little Elvis” that landed him in camaeo role in the film “Honeymoon in Vegas” in 1992.

By that time, Bruno Mars was impersonating Michael Jackson.

Valera said that Bruno graduated from high school in 2003 from President Theodore Roosevelt High School before he moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a singing career.

His sister, Jamie helped him make initial contacts with Motown.

“Through Motown I just started building different relationships, and while I was signed with them I met Philip Lawrence,” who convinced him to try song writing.

They called themselves “Smeezingtons” and co-wrote Long Distance, which was recorded in 2008 by R&B singer Brandy.

More offers arrived after that, but it wasn’t until 2009 did Bruno Mars put his name on top of the charts in 2009 by co-writing Flo Rida’s hit song Right Round.

“By 2010, Mars seemed to be everywhere: singing alongside B.o.B on the chart-topping Nothin’ on You, and co-writing Travie McCoy’s Billionaire, both of which became Top Ten hits. Mars used that momentum to launch a solo career, quickly becoming the first male vocalist in two decades to crack the Top Ten with his first four singles,” Valera said quoting the AJPress Los Angeles.

“Following this success, Mars released his debut extended play (EP), titled It’s Better If You Don’t Understand, on May 11, 2010. The EP peaked at the ninety-ninth position on the Billboard 200 and produced one single: The Other Side, featuring rappers Cee Lo Green and B.o.B.”

“Mars’ debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, was released on October 5, 2010. The lead single, Just the Way You Are, was released on July 19, 2010, and quickly reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100.”

Bruno’s dream is to visit the Philippines, his homeland, and that will come on April 7 and 8 when he performs at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City and at the Mall of Asia Concert Ground in Pasay City, respectively, to entertain his countrymen with his songs he composed. (PNA) LAM/RBC/rsm


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