Bruno Mars’s Successful Career Is a Credit to His Supportive Parents


Jan. 22 2024, Published 3:43 p.m. ET

Bruno Mars and his father, Peter Hernandez, in 2013
Source: Getty Images

So far, Bruno Mars is seven years into his residency with MGM Resorts International, and the “Uptown Funk” doesn’t seem to be winding down anytime soon. Bruno recently scheduled five more shows for February 2024 at the Dolby Live Theater at Las Vegas’s Park MGM casino.

The residency is just another feather in Bruno’s cap, and he has his parents to thank for his blockbuster music career.

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In a 2013 interview with Hollywood Outbreak, Bruno credited his parents for fostering his musical interests. “My dad always had instruments around. My dad was a drummer, but for some reason, he would buy guitars and pianos just to have in the house, and [it] kinda became my habitat,” he said. “And thanks to them, I learned everything that I know now about music.”

Bruno Mars’s parents gave him his style and heart, he said.

Bruno’s father is Peter “Pedrito” Hernandez, a Puerto Rican and Jewish man from Brooklyn, and his mother was Bernadette San Pedro Bayot, a Filipina and Spanish woman, according to a 2017 Latina profile of the “24K Magic” performer.

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A 4-year-old Bruno Mars and his mother, Bernadette San Pedro Bayot, in 1990
Source: Getty Images

As the musical prodigy grew up in Hawaii, Peter gave Bruno his style, and Bernadette gave him his heart, the magazine reported. And Bruno’s childhood sounds idyllic: Bruno’s brother Eric, who’s now a drummer for him, told Latina he remembers the two of them “playing music together, throwing around a football, just doing everything together.”

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But tragedy struck in 2013 when Bernadette died of a brain aneurysm. “The woman who taught you to love, showed you what a woman is supposed to be, when that goes away, a little more than half your heart goes away with it,” Bruno told the magazine. “If I could trade music to have her back, I would. I always hear her say, ‘Keep going and keep doing it.’”

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The singer clapped back against accusations that he changed his last name to hide his ethnicity.

Bruno, who was born Peter Hernandez, also told Latina he isn't ashamed of his roots. “I never once said I changed my last name to hide the fact that I’m Puerto Rican. Why would I f--king say that? Who are you fooling? And why would anyone say that? That’s so insulting to me, to my family. That’s ridiculous. My last name is Hernandez. My father’s name is Pedrito Hernandez, and he’s a Puerto Rican pimp. There’s no denying that.”

The singer said that his dad gave him the nickname Bruno. He got the moniker Mars as a joke about being “bigger than life.”

“That was it, simple as that,” he added. “I see people that don’t know what I am, and it’s so weird that it gets them upset. And how are you going to tell me that this song that I’m writing is only going to be catered to Puerto Ricans or to white people or only Asian people? How are you going to tell me that? My music is for anybody who wants to listen to it.”

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