The incredible Peter Gene Hernandez is much better known by his stage name Bruno Mars. This pop star is well respected for his musical range and multifaceted talent. However, he also works hard to shield much of his private life from the paparazzi and fans. In addition to singing, he is also a dancer, record producer, songwriter, and musician. One thing is certain, when you hear this mystery-man come on the air, you instantly know whose voice you’re listening to. Here are the top ten best Bruno Mars songs of all time.
10. That’s What I Like
The 2017 hit That’s What I Like is clearly what most fans like too. With almost two billion YouTube hits on the official video alone, it’s hard not to enjoy this song. The cartoon quality for That’s What I Like’s video reminds us of Paula Abdul’s Opposites Attract despite using abstract shapes rather than a talking animal. Combining a fantastic singer and dancer with cartoon effects started with this video dubbed the “most 1990’s” by Screenrant. Naturally, dancers and animation go back a lot further. You can see examples of this technique in 1964’s Mary Poppins and even further back in 1945 when Gene Kelly Danced with Jerry Mouse. However, that technique isn’t just a thing of the past as this could easily be called the “most 2010’s” video of all time. It just goes to show that some combinations are truly timeless.
9. Marry You
If you got married in the mid to late 2010s, or even more recently, you may have danced to this song. Countless proposals were set to this tune, and some couples even used it in place of the traditional wedding march to dance down the aisle. There’s no doubt it’s a bop, but more than that, for thousands of people, this is the song that made their nuptials special.
8. 24K Magic
There are many outstanding party anthems. However, in the late 2010s, this was the song everyone was dancing to. That alone would make 24K Magic a great song, but it was recognized well beyond the club and party scene. In 2018 24K Magic won seven Grammys. It might have been eight, but another Bruno Mars song, That’s What I Like, took home Song of the Year. According to Grammy.com, it was also the album of the year, his first as a solo artist.
This is a Travie McCoy song featuring Bruno Mars, but it wouldn’t be the same if they weren’t both a part of the now-famous tune. The simple beauty of the opening with Bruno and his guitar draws you in. The soulful Mars lyrics make an ideal counterpoint to Travie’s rap style.
6. Locked Out Of Heaven
There are fantastic popular songs, and then there are songs so good the artists are invited to perform at the Superbowl. Locked Out Of Heaven is firmly in the latter category. The longing inherent in the lyrics and a dance-worthy rhythm gives this song a unique earworm meets dance hit feel.
5. When I Was Your Man
Showing off his stunning array of musical talent again, this song and the video feature Bruno playing the piano. Naturally, every amazing artist needs a heartbreak song, and this one is Bruno’s. This song is the story of a young man who didn’t know what he had or what to do with it until it was far too late.
The power behind this ballad is palpable even over a car radio, let alone in concert. The sort of obsessive, unrequited love he talks about in Grenade is both touching and alarming. On the one hand, it’s romantic to love someone enough to ‘catch a grenade’ for them, but in this case, that love is very much one-sided. Grenade is the ultimate ‘I got dumped’ song of the 2010s.
3. Just The Way You Are
Released the same year as Grenade, Just The Way You Are is the polar opposite. Loving someone for exactly who and what they are is a healthy and beautiful sentiment. These two songs are like two halves of the same story. Lines like “I’d never ask you to change,’ represent the furthest point in the emotional romantic spectrum from the idea that someone would die for a partner who wouldn’t put them out if they were on fire. You can’t separate these two songs, so we’re calling it a tie for third place.
2. The Lazy Song
Everyone knows The Lazy Song. The video with its dancers in monkey masks just ‘monkeying around’ the house is memorable. The hint of rebellious and bawdy behavior doesn’t overshadow how utterly relatable the whole song is to millions. Moreover, the whistling is an ingenious musical addition we don’t hear often enough in music.
1. Uptown Funk
Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk with Bruno Mars is the stuff of legend. Everything from the big-band brass background to the video with hints of the king of pop’s influences is next level. While this song didn’t win as many Grammys as 24K Magic, it is a fan favorite. Moreover, it’s so good that according to Entertainment Weekly, Rick Astley pulled his own version of the infamous Rick Roll by playing this song at an 80s themed music festival. Now that’s meta.
Whether he’s uptown funking you out, serenading you with a love song, playing a colorful yet cocky parrot on Rio 2, or making you laugh at his antics, this is one showman who knows his craft. The diverse influences and style of Bruno Mars’ music wouldn’t work for every artist. However, showing off his many skills and dynamic presence is all in a day’s work for Bruno.