Top 10 Best Bruno Mars Songs

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Bruno Mars
Photo by Paras Griffin / Getty Images

Bruno Mars, aka Peter Gene Hernandez, swiftly emerged as a major pop star with "Just the Way You Are" in 2010. Following three albums plus a couple score of singles later (including seven No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles and 15 top 10), here is a list of his 10 best songs, including solo and featured work.

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'Grenade' (2010)

Bruno Mars Grenade
Courtesy Elektra

"Grenade" is a breakup song that depicts painful heartbreak, forging an instant connection with a wide range of pop music fans. Bruno Mars earned three Grammy Award nominations for the song, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year but lost to Adele. "Grenade" was a No. 1 pop hit single in many countries around the world, including both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Mars said that he was inspired to write the song after listening to a song that producer Benny Blanco played for him from an unsigned band. Mars contacted a member of the band and began to work on his own version of "Grenade." The song topped the mainstream pop radio chart and climbed to No. 3 at adult pop radio.

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'Locked Out of Heaven' (2012)

Bruno Mars Locked Out of Heaven
Courtesy Atlantic

"Locked Out of Heaven" was the first single released from Bruno Mars' second album, "Unorthodox Jukebox." It is an up-tempo song with acknowledged influence from the Police. Mark Ronson and Jeff Bhasker both participated in its production, and the result was a No. 1 pop hit in the United States and a top 10 smash around the world. It reached the top 10 on both the adult pop and adult contemporary charts as well as making its way into the dance club top 20. "Locked Out of Heaven" earned three Grammy Award nominations, including for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

The accompanying music music video for "Locked Out of Heaven" is a clip about Bruno Mars having a good time with his band. The primary element that makes the music video seem retro is the grainy feel of the filmed footage. It earned three nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards and won Best Male Video.

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'Uptown Funk!' With Mark Ronson (2014)

Mark Ronson Uptown Funk Bruno Mars
Courtesy RCA

Producers Mark Ronson and Jeff Bhasker had both previously worked with Bruno Mars on his No. 1 smash pop hit "Locked Out of Heaven" and additional songs. The three collaborated again for this lead single from Mark Ronson's album "Uptown Special." Drawing inspiration from the Minneapolis Sound of the 1980s as well as funk bands like Zapp and The Gap Band, "Uptown Funk!" was an instant success. It spent 14 weeks at No. 1 in the United States and was a pop hit around the world. The song earned two Grammy Award nominations, including for Record of the Year.

Mark Ronson claimed that he was heavily influenced by the 1980s Minneapolis sound developed by Prince, The Time, and producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Other observers saw elements of a wide range of '80s funk music. Indeed, "Uptown Funk!" has been the subject of copyright controversies. Three members of the R&B group the Gap Band were added on to the official credits as songwriters after similarities with the group's "Oops! Upside Your Head" were pointed out.

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'That's What I Like' (2017)

Bruno Mars That's What I Like
Courtesy Atlantic

"That's What I Like" was released as the second single from the "24K Magic" album, and it surpassed the title-track single in chart success. It went all the way to No. 1, Bruno Mars' seventh trip to the top. The song is more directly in an R&B groove, giving a nod to the new jack swing music of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It also hit No. 1 at mainstream pop and R&B radio. The song also reached No. 2 at adult pop radio. Mars performed "That's What I Like" at the 2017 Grammy Awards ceremony.

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'Just the Way You Are' (2010)

Bruno Mars Just the Way You Are
Courtesy Elektra

This was the debut solo single for Bruno Mars. It is a sweet song of romantic devotion. It climbed to No. 1 in both the United States and the United Kingdom, making Bruno Mars an instant pop star. "Just the Way You Are" has now sold more than nine million copies in the United States alone and was featured on the hit TV show "Glee."

Mars said that he was not looking to be deep on "Just the Way You Are." He was just looking to tell a story. He acknowledged influences from Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful" and Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight." Critics commented that the song was simple but effective. "Just the Way You Are" hit No. 1 across mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio. It also reached No. 1 on the pop singles chart across the Atlantic in Great Britain.

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'When I Was Your Man' (2013)

Bruno Mars When I Was Your Man
Courtesy Atlantic

"When I Was Your Man" takes listeners back to the ballads of the early 1970s. Bruno Mars has mentioned the influence of both Elton John and Billy Joel in his music. The song features a grand production and was the second single released from "Unorthodox Jukebox." "When I Was Your Man" hit No. 1 in the United States and the top 10 in many other countries around the world. Mars was so moved by the process of writing and recording "When I Was Your Man" that he claimed, "I'm never singing another ballad again." He also said he was nervous to reveal it to his fans.

He needn't be. It topped mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio charts. In remixed form, it also broke into the top 20 at dance music radio. The song earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance.

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'Nothin' on You' With B.O.B. (2010)

B.o.B. Nothin On You Bruno Mars
Courtesy Atlantic

"Nothin' on You" introduced pop music fans to two major new talents. B.O.B. has gone on to be one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful of young rap artists. The featured vocal introduced fans to the sweet honeyed voice of Bruno Mars. "Nothin' on You" topped the pop and rap singles charts in the United States. It also went to No. 1 in the United Kingdom. The song was co-written by Bruno Mars' songwriting and production team the Smeezingtons, along with B.O.B. Reportedly the song was originally intended for rapper Lupe Fiasco. However, it ultimately ended up being given to B.O.B. "Nothin' on You" earned two Grammy Award nominations, including for Record of the Year.

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'Treasure' (2013)

Bruno Mars Treasure
Courtesy Atlantic

"Treasure" is the third single from Bruno Mars' album "Unorthodox Jukebox." It features strong influences from late-70s and early '80s soul and also reflects classic disco music. The song became Bruno Mars' 11th top 10 pop hit, peaking at No. 5 and selling more than three million copies. It also hit the top 10 at adult pop and mainstream pop radio.

The accompanying music video is primarily a performance clip featuring Bruno Mars and his band, the Hooligans. In fitting with the 1970s sound of the song, the music video is unavailable in high definition. It can be watched only with standard definition quality.

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'24K Magic' (2016)

Bruno Mars 24k Magic
Courtesy Atlantic

Bruno Mars released the song "24K Magic" as the first single from his third studio album of the same name. In the wake of the massive success of "Uptown Funk!" with Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars went to work on his next solo album. He relied heavily on elements of classic disco and funk music with a hip-hop edge. The single climbed to No. 4 on the US pop chart and reached the top 10 across adult pop and mainstream pop radio as well as hitting No. 2 on the dance chart. It helped lead to a No. 2 chart debut by the album a little over a month later.

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'It Will Rain' (2011)

Bruno Mars It Will Rain
Courtesy Elektra

Bruno Mars was invited to create a love song for the soundtrack of "Breaking Dawn—Part 1," the fourth in the series of "Twilight" films. The result was "It Will Rain." He has said it represents the "darker side of love." The song sold more than three million copies and became another major Bruno Mars pop hit. It peaked at No. 3 in the United States and No. 5 in Canada.

Mars said that he had the song "It Will Rain" halfway finished before he saw an early cut of the film and was inspired by the characters for the finishing touches on the song. Though critics didn't see "It Will Rain" as making major strides forward for Bruno Mars as an artist, they believed it did fit the mood of the film well.