PLUS: HOW SINGER BRUNO MARS

A su­per­star gives back, sup­port­ing dis­as­ter re­lief for Puerto Rico and clean wa­ter for kids in Flint.

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Front Page - By Ali­son Abbey

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.

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