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Bruno Mars Had to Live In a Zoo After Parents’ Divorce – He Slept in 1 Bed With His Dad & Brother

Gaone Pule
Apr 05, 2022
12:30 P.M.
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Bruno Mars is a talented, diverse musical artist worth over $100 million and raking in $51.5 million as of 2019 in earnings. The singer-songwriter was listed No. 54 on Forbes Celebrity 100 list. But his younger years had been far from easy. Amazingly, he recalls this period as "the best."

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Versatile musician Bruno Mars has amassed immense success in his musical career. According to Forbes.com, he spent most of 2018 on his sold-out 24K Magic World Tour. 

Billboard named the Hawaiian native's tour the fourth highest-grossing of 2018, tallying more than $237 million for 100 shows. In 2019, Forbes named the 36-year-old No. 54 on its Celebrity 100.

(L) Singer-songwriter Bruno Mars during an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" Season 38. (R) Child prodigy Bruno Mars shown as a four year old Elvis Presley impersonator in August 1990 in Memphis, Tennessee. / Source: Getty Images

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Then in 2014, Mars' much-loved music ranked 30 Under 30. Consistency is vital for Mars, who has released hit song after hit song, including "Uptown Funk," "Grenade," and "Just The Way You Are." 

In addition to all of that, the dancer found other means to earn money. For instance, he has had an extremely lucrative Las Vegas residency that lasted from 2016 to 2020. As a result of his revenue income streams, Mars has accumulated a $175 million fortune, per celebritynetworth.com.

Anderson Paak and Bruno Mars during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. / Source: Getty Images

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On how he spends his wealth, Mars bought a four-bedroom, 4,124-square-foot home worth $3.1 million in Honululu. He later sold the abode and purchased a 9000-square-foot house in Los Angeles. 

The said property reportedly cost him $6.5 million and boasts an entire wing for his siblings' kids. In addition, the house has 12 car garages, a wine cellar, and a bar, among others.

Musician Bruno Mars performing onstage during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. / Source: Getty Images

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The 12 car garage comes in handy for Mars' fleet of cars. He has a collection worth at least $1.8 million. The car collection includes a Rolls Royce, a Cadillac STS, and a Cadillac Allante. 

Mars also uses his riches to give back to people in need. Over the years, he has supported various charities, including DoSomething.org, Red Cross, and Save the Children. 

'HE STARTED SINGING BEFORE HE COULD EVEN TALK' 

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The "Treasure" singer's mother, Bernadette San Pedro Bayot, told Lifestyle Inquirer in March 2014 that she knew that her son was special the moment he was born.  

Bayot revealed Mars was born into a musical family, and it was only natural for him that he caught the singing bug at a young age. The mom of six said it was almost like her child came out holding a mic: 

"Bruno, I knew he was special the moment he was born. I would like to say that he came out of me holding a mic, but that wasn't the case! But he was singing even before he started talking." 

Music producer Bruno Mars pictured as a four year old Elvis Presley impersonator, with his mother in August 1990 in Memphis, Tennessee. / Source: Getty Images

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Mars had always been close to his mother from a young age. She was the first female he wrote a song about at the tender age of four.  

Bayot bought her son a piano when he was merely two years old. Young Mars did not bang on the instrument, but he played actual tunes, said his proud mom.

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During an interview with Rap-Up.com in May 2010, the Grammy Award singer explained how his moniker came about. He shared that the name Bruno was after Bruno Sammartino, who was a wrestler. And so, his father used to call him that as a nickname because he was chubby.  

The "Locked Out of Heaven" singer, born Peter Gene Hernandez, appeared on "The Graham Norton Show" in 2011 and explained that the last name Mars came up as he was joking around in the studio. He joked: "Saying, I'm out of this world." 

MARS HAD A TOUGH CHILDHOOD - HE LIVED IN A ZOO

Former child prodigy Bruno Mars as a four year old Elvis Presley impersonator in August 1990 in Memphis, Tennessee. / Source: Getty Images

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Mars's parents divorced when he was 12 years old. His family had reached a low point in their lives at the time. Following the divorce, he and his father and brother lived in a one-room structure; he told CBS News in November 2016. 

The said spots included the tops of buildings and the back of a car. Camera crews from the publication tagged along with him to one particular place where he revealed that he had lived for two years.

Bruno Mars arriving at the 2010 VH1 Do Something! Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on July 19, 2010 in Hollywood, California. / Source: Getty Images

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Mars' father, Peter Hernandez, had got a job working at Paradise Park, a bird zoo whose owner gave them housing on the grounds. But the zoo closed. With nowhere else to go, Mars, his dad, and his sibling opted to move into the one-room in the abandoned park: 

"My dad was just the king of finding these little spots for us to stay that we should never have been staying at." 

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They all slept in one bed, but Mars cherished those moments and called them his childhood's "best" memories. They would console one another: 

"It's alright. We don't have electricity today. It's alright. It's temporary. Well, we're going to figure this out." 

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Mars had showbusiness parents who used to sing in the family's Waikiki Beach dinner-club act. Despite how poor and homeless they were, their son never blamed them for his difficult upbringing. They were a tight-knit family. 

The rock star once said what they experienced at the time did not matter because they had each other and that it never felt like it was the end: 

"We had each other, and it never felt like it was the end of the world."  

REFLECTING ON HIS CHILDHOOD, IMPERSONATING ELVIS PRESLEY 

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In an interview with CNN in January 2012, Mars reflected on his childhood with his parents. He recalled that his mother would not allow him to perform when he was five years old and had a fever. He cried all night in his room because he could not do what he loved, to entertain.  

He noted that his father used to put the family shows together six nights a week. Mars would go to school during the day, and "at night time, I would turn into Batman," he joked. He impersonated the iconic Elvis Presley at the time. 

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The mesmerizing performer shared that his parents instilled values that include family being important. He credited them for his successful career, as they showered him with support. 

Mars mentioned that the knowledge that his father provided him also contributed because he was the one who introduced him to music and showed him leadership qualities.  

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Mars has five other siblings. When Lifestyle Inquirer asked his mom about raising six children all by herself, she admitted that it was hard: 

"It was tough, but I did it. I was a single mom. I cleaned houses, everything to make it work. I sewed, and I sold paintings. I don't know how I managed it, to tell you the truth." 

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Mars revealed the challenging period in their lives that helped shape him into the hitmaker he is today. He disclosed that living in a zoo was where he wrote his hit song, "24K Magic." 

The overall experience gave him the patience and determination it took for him to write hit songs. He developed a mentality that he would eventually figure it out no matter how long it took.  

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After graduating from high school, Mars uprooted to LA. He went on a wild streak in his early years in the city. The "Marry You" singer told Rolling Stone in May 2013 that he lost himself when giving many females attention. Mars noted that it was not realistic when out drinking and partying non-stop.  

He was a late bloomer as a songwriter as he signed a deal with Motown. The label later dropped him because they had no idea what to do with him. Mars realized he would have to start writing songs for other people when that happened, but his songs also found success.  

In early September 2010, Mars found himself sitting in the posh lounge of Larrabee Studios. Renowned mix-engineer rushed to complete his debut album, "Doo-Wops & Hooligans." Mars had already written songs for famous artists such as B.o.B and Cee Lo Green. He later released his first single, "Just the Way You Are."

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AFTER WORLDWIDE SUCCESS, TRAGEDY STRUCK IN HIS LIFE 

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After making his mark in the music business, Mars sadly lost his mother, who died in June 2013. Her passing gave him a new perspective on life and music. Mars told Latina Magazine that his mother's sudden death rocked his world: 

"My life has changed. She's more than my music. If I could trade music to have her back, I would. I always hear her say, 'Keep going and keep doing it.'" 

Bayot died at age 55 after suffering from a brain aneurysm while home in Hawaii. Her son said she was with him in spirit, adding he had regrets about things that he kept going back to, wishing to have done things differently due to the pain.  

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Mars noted that he saw life differently and realized its importance, adding that nothing else mattered except for family and loved ones. Just weeks after his mother's death, the pop star went on tour. He explained his mom would have wanted him to keep going: 

"I felt like what she wanted me to do was keep going. She wouldn't want me to stop." 

FINDING LOVE WHILE RISING TO STARDOM 

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Apart from his loss, Mars has a supportive long-time girlfriend named Jessica Caban, whom he met at the beginning of his career. Though the couple has been dating for quite some time, they are still not married. 

During his acceptance speech at the 60th Grammy Awards in 2018, after winning Record of The Year, Mars thanked his significant other. 

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He showed gratitude to Caban, telling her that he loved her while thanking her for being his pillar and for having been by his side since he launched his thriving career:

"My lady Jessica, I love you, baby. Thank you for being my rock and being by my side throughout this process." 

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In November 2014, the music superstar posted a snapshot of the couple smiling while holding hands. Mars captioned the image, sharing that they always make each other laugh. 

He paid a birthday tribute to his lover in October 2021 on his Instagram, accompanied by a simple message that read: "Happy Birthday," while adding a heart emoji. 

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The post showed an image that displayed a throwback photograph of the pair with Mars sitting on a white couch. The couple leaned into each other on the snap. 

Mars wore black trousers paired with a blue shirt and a hat matching his pants. Meanwhile, Caban wore pink jeans paired with a see-through black blouse. 

WHAT HIS PROUD FATHER PETER THINKS OF HIM

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Mars' father, Peter, told Hawaii News Now that deep down in his soul, his son knew from a young age that he would conquer the world with his music.  

"Man, it was like a meteor jumping from level to level, and I watched him in playrooms this size," Peter said of his child when he performed in Waikiki showrooms that fit only ten people.  

Bruno Mars with his father Peter Hernandez during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York City. / Source: Getty Images

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At age 28, Mars returned home to Hawaii for three sold-out shows, boosted by his stellar performance at the Super Bowl halftime. 

His proud dad said: "I knew if you didn't know the name Bruno Mars and you hadn't seen a concert, you got a taste of what this young man was all about, and I knew this was going to be another pinnacle point that it will take him from here to here." 

On his dad's birthday in June 2018, Mars paid tribute to his parent, sharing a throwback image of him. He wrote that his father taught him everything he knew. He thanked him for taking care of his family and expressed that he loved him. 

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