"Stop! Wait a minute..." Did you really think we wouldn't cover Bruno Mars's greatest hits on the Live365 blog? Besides Bruno spending time in the limelight recently due to his work with Silk Sonic (the R&B collaboration between him and Anderson .Paak that debuted during this year's Grammys), his solo discography is filled with hits, meaning a ranking is in order!
The singer/songwriter has come a long way since his early days as the world's youngest Elvis impersonator in Hawaii. Bruno Mars has eleven Grammys, four Guinness World Records, and a 3x certified Platinum album (24K MAGIC), and his iconic 2015 Super Bowl performance drew in a record-breaking total viewership of 115.3 million. On top of that, he has had seven singles reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with several others also peaking within the top 5.
While it may be hard to choose favorites, here are Live365's picks for the Top 10 Bruno Mars Songs!
10. "Marry You"
A song that's been the background track for countless wedding proposals, "Marry You" is a fun-loving tune inspired by the spontaneity of Vegas marriages. The pop song features a unique use of wedding bells that make it stand out amongst other popular love songs.
Songwriter Phillip Lawrence once talked about the song's creation on American Songwriter. "It was more of a racy kind of idea, as opposed to this classic marriage tune it has become," he said. "We always thought it was a good song and catchy, but we didn’t think it would affect pop culture the way that it has. The first time we saw one of those YouTube videos, it changed everything for us. We were almost in tears, just the power of music…the power of what it is we can create."
Originally released as the fourth and last single of Doo-Wops and Hooligans, "Marry You" is about Bruno falling head over heels for a girl at first sight.
9. "That's What I Like"
"That's What I Like" is the fourth song on 24K MAGIC, the album's second radio single, and the winner of three 2018 Grammys: Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Performance.
In the song, Bruno tells his lady love all the things he likes. Those things include beautiful beach houses, extravagant foods, and fancy cars. While the background and lyrics of the song are simple, it sets Bruno up as a rich man ready to spoil his love.
Inspired by French producer Breakbot's song "Baby I'm Yours," Bruno Mars's "Treasure" is about the perks of being drunk in love. It's a declaration to Bruno's woman that she will always be the center of his attention, and features some disco-era throwbacks when it comes to sound production.
The bop was written by Bruno, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, and Phredley Brown, while production was handled by the former three as members of The Smeezingtons. "Treasure" was released as the third single from Unorthodox Jukebox.
The retro music video is particularly memorable. Besides funky visuals, it features Bruno and his crew dressed up in stunning red suits. They perform electric choreography, and even float through outer space.
7. "When I Was Your Man"
Another song from Unorthodox Jukebox, "When I Was Your Man" is an emotional ballad about a girl who got away before Bruno became famous. He sings about how he hopes her new man is treating her right: buying her flowers, holding her hand, and dancing with her. Basically all the things Bruno would do if they ever got back together.
Bruno has stated on many occasions "When I Was Your Man" is the hardest song in his discography to perform because of the meaningful lyrics. The powerhouse vocals also make this a difficult ballad to belt, but Bruno pulls it off with flying colors.
While the performer hasn't commented about the song's inspiration, attentive listeners may notice the opening chord is the same as the first chord in Billy Joel's “Piano Man." The music videos are eerily similar, too. In “Piano Man,” Billy Joel plays in a piano bar. Bruno Mars plays his piano, but in a TV studio. The pianos they both play also have a glass of whiskey sitting on top. Coincidence? We think not.
The second single off Doo-Wops & Hooligans, "Grenade" was an instant hit when it was first released. It earned him lots of critical acclaim and Grammy nominations. With a broken heart, Bruno lists off several extreme acts just to prove his love to a girl. Unfortunately, she couldn't care less.
In an interview with Idolator, Bruno explained the backstory behind the song. "I was with my friend Benny Blanco and he was playing me some songs, and he played me this song that had a lyric like (the one in “Grenade”)… he said, 'this band is not signed, this is a CD that wasn’t released.' I said to Benny, 'I can relate to that so much, I want to take that and make it my own.' He was in contact with the dude, and I started writing my version, basically."
The video has Bruno pulling a heavy piano behind him while traveling a great distance. In the Idolator interview, he also said, "It’s a heartbreaking, heartbreak song, and I think everyone can relate to that. You’re so in love with this woman and you don’t understand, 'What am I doing wrong? What am I not giving to you? ... and why can’t I get that kind of love in return?”
5. "Just the Way You Are"
The first song that turned Bruno Mars into a pop star, "Just the Way You Are" is an affirming message to all women that they are beautiful no matter what imperfections they think they have. While the song has Bruno serenading a specific dream girl of his, the Grammy-winning songwriter specifically wrote the song to be inclusive for all listeners.
In an interview with Blues And Soul Magazine, Mars said, "I’m a big fan of songs like Joe Cocker’s ‘You Are So Beautiful’ and Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’ – songs that go straight to the point...And to me ‘Just The Way You Are’ is one of those songs. There’s nothing mind-blowing about it. I’m just telling a woman she looks beautiful the way she IS – and, let’s be honest, what woman doesn’t wanna hear those lyrics?!"
4. "The Lazy Song"
A song that hits especially hard due to months of doing nothing in quarantine, "The Lazy Song" showcases Bruno Mars's sense of humor. An anthem for couch potatoes with catchy lyrics and cute whistling solos, it's the perfect song for days when you "don't feel like doing anything."
He mentioned to the New York Daily News that "The Lazy Song" came out of an unproductive studio session. He and his colleagues were trying to write a song "better than the Beatles." After five hours of no inspiration, Bruno gave up and said, "Today I don’t feel like doing anything at all." It opened up everyone's eyes, and "The Lazy Song" was born.
The music video is another relic of early 2010's pop culture. In it, Bruno and his crew (a group of monkeys wearing sunglasses and flannel shirts) dance around a cozy-looking bedroom. There's awesome choreography, a cameo from a robe-clad roommate, and even gold confetti!
3. "24K Magic"
With an 80's-style electronic score and a vocoded introduction that would make Daft Punk proud, "24K Magic" is a highlight of Bruno Mars's career. A pure party anthem, it proves Bruno is able to adapt to the sounds of recent pop hits while creating something all his own. Because of that, "24K Magic" took home the Grammy for Record of the Year in 2018.
Calling this song "the invitation to the party" on his Instagram, he released the music video for "24K Magic" on October 7, 2016. In it, Bruno is joined by an opulent-looking squad living their best lives in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
2. "Locked Out of Heaven"
Released in 2012, "Locked Out of Heaven" is a new wave, funk, and reggae rock song about the heavenly feelings a relationship infused with good sex and positivity can bring. Bruno has admitted the song was influenced by legendary 80's band The Police, and the track became an international commercial success - topping the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks.
Fans went wild when Bruno Mars opened his Super Bowl halftime show with this song, banging on drums in a suave gold suit. Believe us: this song sounds even better with live vocals.
But "Locked Out of Heaven" isn't the only funky song Bruno has performed at the Super Bowl...
1. "Uptown Funk" (Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars)
Topping this list is none other than "Uptown Funk" - the best Bruno Mars song (although he's technically just the featured artist)!
The fourth track on Mark Ronson's album Uptown Special, this song won the Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Pop/Duo Group Performance while topping the Billboard charts and selling over 6 million copies. And that's just in the United States alone.
With a thumping bass, blaring trumpets, and a masterfully-used kick drum, the heat of this song would make "a dragon want to retire." Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, and Jeff Bhasker penned the hit, but the songwriting credits were revised to include The Gap Band after people noted similarities between "Uptown Funk" and their hit, “Oops Upside Your Head.”
Perhaps the best live performance of this song came when Bruno Mars crashed the 2016 Super Bowl Halftime Show with Beyoncé. Bruno, Queen Bey, and Chris Martin from Coldplay got the "stadium shakin'" with an astounding trio rendition.
Don't believe us? Just watch!
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