Mars was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii by a single mother who was an occasional opera singer and model. He has two half-sisters. After dropping out of high school at the age of 17, he moved to L. Where he found a job as a dishwasher and used his spare time to perform in local lounges and bars.
His first break came in 2010 when he was featured on B.o.B’s hit single “Nothin’ On You”, which was nominated for two Grammy Awards. Mars also co-wrote Travie McCoy’s hit, Billionaire, and provided the hook for a single by rapper Flo Rida. During this time, he also wrote songs for other artists including Alexandra Burke’s hit song “Bad Boys” from her 2009 album Overcome and Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire”.
In October 2010:
Mars released his debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans. The album was inspired by pop and rock from the 50s and 60s as well as the music his mother listened to while he was growing up, such as Stevie Wonder, Elvis Presley, and The Police. Mars’ second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox released in December 2012 went straight to number one in the UK Albums Chart and number two in the US. In 2014, Mars received five Grammy nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year for his single “Locked Out of Heaven” as well as Album of the Year for Unorthodox Jukebox.
In early July 2013, Mars was accused by a Hawaiian concert promoter of lip-syncing during his performance at the 2013 Hawaii Bowl. However, Mars has never hinted at this and didn’t use any backing tracks or off-stage vocals to create his sound. Defending himself on The Howard Stern Show, he said: “I got accused — we had only performed 13 times before we went on that show and I was being accused of lip-syncing and stuff.
I don’t lip-sync! And that was a situation where it wasn’t even my show, it was the legendary Hawaii Bowl’s 50th year…My band played live but when we cut the track in the studio, I’m not going to sing it again in front of all those people. So I got accused of lip-syncing but no, I don’t do that.”
In 2014, Mars hosted and performed on Saturday Night Live. He has been nominated for six Grammy Awards: Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for “Locked Out Of Heaven” and Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for Unorthodox Jukebox.
Mars was also named Artist of the Year by Billboard in 2013. During the 2014 ceremony, he received a Golden Globe nomination for his song “All I Ask” from The Great Gatsby being used as part of the film’s marketing campaign.