October 8: Singer Bruno Mars - "Grenade" "Just the Way You Are" - is 26-years-old today.

Born Peter Gene Hernandez, the singer-songwriter and music producer known by his stage name Bruno Mars. He is known for lending his vocals and co-writing the hooks for the songs "Nothin' on You" by B.o.B, and "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy, as well as his own international number-one single "Just the Way You Are."

He also co-wrote the international hits for Flo Rida featuring Ke$ha, K'naan, and Cee Lo Green. In October 2010, he released his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. He was nominated for seven Grammys at the 53rd Grammy Awards.

Peter (Bruno) was born and raised in the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu, Hawaii. When he was two, his father gave him the nickname "Bruno" because he was chubby and reminded his father of a famous wrestler named Bruno Sammartino.

Bruno came from a musical family exposing him to a diverse mix of reggae, rock, hip hop, and R&B. He liked to impersonate and performing songs by  Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, The Isley Brothers, and The Temptations.

In 1992, Hernandez was featured as "Little Elvis," in the film Honeymoon in Vegas.

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Bruno says everybody in his family sings and plays instruments. His  uncle is a renowned guitar player, his dad and brother, accomplished percussionists. When allowed, he would take part in shows in Hawaii with his father's band.

After graduating from high school in 2003, Bruno moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a musical career.

Bruno's songwriting partner Philip Lawrence introduced him to Aaron Bay-Schuck, with Atlantic records in 2006. After hearing him sing and play the guitar, Bay-Schuck wanted to sign him immediately but could not convince the label to do so. Instead, he used used - along with Lawrence and Ari Levine - as hired songwriters and producers for the label's artists. Bruno did so willingly in order to hone his skills and learn more about the business side of the music profession.  

Bruno wrote songs for Alexandra Burke, Travie McCoy, Adam Levine, Brandy, and Sean Kingston, as well as Flo Rida in the international hit "Right Round." He also co-wrote the Sugababes' hit song "Get Sexy" and provided backing vocals on their album Sweet 7.

He first gained broad exposure as a solo artist after being featured on and co-writing B.o.B's "Nothin' on You," and Travie McCoy's "Billionaire"; both songs peaked within the top ten of many charts worldwide.

Mars released his debut extended play (EP), titled It's Better If You Don't Understand, in May 2010. The EP peaked at the ninety-ninth position on the Billboard 200 and produced one single: "The Other Side," featuring rappers Cee Lo Green and B.o.B.

Mars' debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, was released in October. The lead single, "Just the Way You Are," was released earlier in July, and has reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100.