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After several years as one of pop music's premier songwriters, Bruno Mars broke out as a singer in his own right with the 2010 hit "Nothin' on You."
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They presented a song they had written and recorded to a record label, who liked it but wanted one of their own artists to perform it. Mars recalls, "We were so broke and struggling, we had to do what we had to do, so we ended up selling the song." Initially Mars was disappointed, but he says, "The light bulb went off. I decided to push the artist thing aside and get into the business this way. We can write songs and produce songs,
so we just really focused our energy into writing for other artists. That's how it all began." By the late 2000s, Mars started finding success by writing songs for other popular artists such as Flo Rida's smash hit "Right 'Round," Brandy's "Long Distance," Travie McCoy's "Billionaire" and K'Naan's "Wavin' Flag," the theme song for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
After several years as one of the pop music industry's premier songwriters, Mars finally broke out as a singer in his own right with the 2010 hit "Nothin' on You." The song was written for the Atlantic Records rapper B.o.B., but the record label decided to enlist Mars himself to croon the heartfelt chorus. The track proved an enormous hit, skyrocketing to No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart, instantly transforming Bruno Mars from a behind-the-scenes composer into a pop performer. Several months later, Mars released his first solo single, "Just the Way You Are," another single that landed the artist on top of the Billboard singles chart. The track served as the lead single for Mars' debut studio album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, released in October 2010. The album reached No. 3 on Billboard's album charts, and its follow-up singles, "Grenade" and "The Lazy Song" also cracked the top 10 on the singles chart. He also scored another hit with "It Will Rain," which he contributed to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 soundtrack in late 2011.
Around that time, Mars also received several Grammy Award nominations for his debut effort, including Album of the Year. While he went home empty-handed, Mars gave a career-building performance at the Grammy Award ceremony in February 2012. His energetic rendition of his 60s-influenced song "Runaway Baby" had even the most jaded must industry veterans moving in their seats. Mars showed himself to be a high-energy live performer, and he even did an homage to the late James Brown in his act.
With his formula of combining catchy pop melodies, hip-hop beats and feel-good lyrics, Bruno Mars has emerged as a popular artist. And after a lifetime of striving to reach the top of the music industry, Mars is now trying to enjoy the moment. "Everything's good right now," he says. "It's really paying off because now my songs are on the radio. It took me a while to finally get it, but when I got it, I think I got it right. And I'm very proud of how my songs are representing me as an artist."
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