Peak UK Chart Position: #2 in November 2012.
Peter Gene Hernandez turns 31 today. Possibly not a name you recognise, although his stage name of Bruno Mars perhaps rings a bell. Born in the Waikiki neighbourhood of Honolulu, he gained the nickname ‘Bruno’ from his father when aged just two, because of his resemblance to professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.
He signed a fruitless recording contract with Motown in 2005, lasting less than a year; instead, prior to becoming a successful solo artist, he wrote and produced for the likes of Flo Rida, Brandy, Sugababes, Travie McCoy, and Adam Levine. His first chart hit in the UK came as a featured vocalist on the BoB track “Nothin’ On You” which got to number one in May 2010. Since then, he has scored four more chart toppers; three as a solo artist (“Just The Way You Are”, “Grenade”, and “The Lazy Song”) and one as featured artist (with Mark Ronson on “Uptown Funk”).
His latest single was released yesterday, entitled “24K Magic” (the “K” referencing ‘karat’), the title track from his third studio album of the same name due for release on November 18th.
“Locked Out Of Heaven” spent ten weeks in the top ten (moving 2-9-2-2-3-5-6-4-8-10), held off the top by One Direction, Olly Murs, and Gabrielle Aplin in turn. Its chart longevity helped it to rank as the 33rd best selling single of the year, with 421,000 units sold. Here it is, as performed on BBC1’s Graham Norton show on 7th December 2012.