PLUS: HOW SINGER BRUNO MARS
A superstar gives back, supporting disaster relief for Puerto Rico and clean water for kids in Flint.
Bruno Mars has spent the past decade charming crowds and topping the charts. Now he’s paying his success forward. The multiplatinum-selling singer (along with his tour promoter, Live Nation) recently donated $1 million to the
Community Foundation of Greater
Flint, which helps children and families exposed to lead in the Michigan city’s water supply.
“It’s a heartbreaking situation,” he says. “People are still suffering. This happened to good people. I don’t want that to be swept under the rug.”
The 32-year-old superstar known for hits like “Uptown Funk” and “That’s What I Like” was raised in Hawaii in a family of entertainers and developed an early obsession with Elvis Presley. At just 4 years old, little Bruno became the world’s youngest Presley impersonator (even imitating the King in the 1992 Nicolas Cage film Honeymoon in Vegas).
Now he’s not just playing superstar, he is one. His latest album, the double-platinum 24K
Magic, stayed in the Top 10 of the Billboard albums chart for 44 consecutive weeks.
“This album is [about] being in love with the feeling that ’90s R&B gave,” he says. “How it was OK to dance and smile and sing to a girl on the dance floor.”
On Nov. 29, he’ll bring that sound to TV with the hourlong special Bruno Mars: 24K
Magic Live at the Apollo, premiering at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.
“I’m hoping that the special helps people understand where I am in life and how much fun I’m having doing what I love to do.”
Mars continues to spread that love. In 2014, he partnered with the Hawaii Community Foundation to offer Hawaii-based students scholarships for Grammy Camp, which allows high school students to learn all aspects of commercial music. This year, Mars, a five-time Grammy winner, opened up the scholarship to include students from all over the country.
Last month he participated in NBC’s Hurricane Maria relief concert, One Voice: Somos Live!
The cause is personal to Mars, who is of partly Puerto Rican descent.
“I’m extremely blessed that I’m providing for myself and my family doing what I love,” he says. “If I’m in a position to help a cause that breaks my heart, why wouldn’t I do that?”
Mars charted his first five Billboard Hot 100 singles faster than any male artist since his idol, Elvis.