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Life with Mars: Bruno Mars, unfiltered

©GQ
Bruno Mars on the cover of GQ (©GQ)

GQ catches up with the platinum hitmaker in a rowdy, wide-ranging encounter

GQ

You can't blame Bruno Mars for projecting a feisty self-confidence: At 27, the Honolulu-born singer, songwriter and producer has unleashed two consecutive platinum albums and generated single hits around the world, along with a string of awards that likewise underline his international reach and a parallel track record as producer and songwriter for other hit acts. Born Peter Gene Hernandez, Mars has been performing since he was four, snagging a cameo in "Honeymoon in Vegas" as a fearless seven-year-old Elvis impersonator. His current profile foregoes the cape and bell-bottoms, but the swagger's still there.

In an exclusive interview with "GQ's" Chris Heath, Mars displays that same cocky poise in a wide-ranging encounter that covers a lot of ground, from the terrors of songwriting to the joy of sex, his not-so-overnight recording success, his 2010 arrest on cocaine possession, and his tips on gambling.

Here are a few highlights

On "Locked Out of Heaven," and his goal of shocking the world: "That one shocked me. That it turned out the way it did. I haven't done a song like that. And hopefully every album, I'll get that feeling. And shock the world! Shock the world!"

On why he told cops that it was his first time ever using drugs after he was arrested in Las Vegas for cocaine use: "I don't know where that came from. I was really intoxicated. I was really drunk. So a lot of that is a big blur, and I try every day to forget and keep pushing."

On why he is smiling in his infamous mugshot photo: "I have no idea," he says, then laughs before offering the funniest, most poignant answer someone who had just become a pop star couldgive to this particular question: "It was a picture."

On impersonating Elvis in his father and uncle's variety show at age 4: "I don't remember much. I probably couldn't even speak that much. But I was f------g great at it. & It was like turning into Batman. I'd go to school and kids are calling me Peter and we're playing baseball and kickball and s--t, and then -- 'All right, guys, I ve got to go!' -- you put on a sequined jumpsuit, and all of a sudden you're Bruno, the world's youngest Elvis impersonator!"

Read the full GQ interview here.

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