Bruno Mars' Grammy performance: Proof that he can do absolutely anything?

Bruno-Mars-GrammysHe sings! He dances! He writes massive No. 1 hits for himself and seemingly every other artist on the planet! He (did everyone but me already know this?) plays the drums! At this point, it’s no surprise that Bruno Mars can put on a good show, but his Grammy performance — which also featured B.o.B and Janelle Monae — was a total blast. First the trio attempted a strings-backed take on B.o.B’s “Nothin’ on You” (Mars wrote and sings the hook for the tune), which sounded decent, if a little shaky. But then Mars launched into a revamped, classic-soul take on his No. 1 hit “Grenade,” and as the cameras clicked over to black and white the performance came alive, with Mars showing off his sweet, touch-of-grit voice. Then it was Monae’s turn, and while her typically manic performance of “Cold War” was fun (though really, Janelle: crowd surfing in 2011?), Mars kept snagging the camera with his surprisingly slick drumming performance, which managed to be both technically adept and entertaining to watch.

So what do you think? Could Mars be the most all-around talented new pop star out there? Or is he just okay?

Image Credit: Michael Caulfield/

More on the Grammys from
2011 Grammy Awards: We’re live-blogging it!
Lady Gaga’s Grammys arrival is predictably weird: See it here
Lady Gaga Performs “Born This Way” at the Grammys
Grammys 2011: The winners list


Comments (166 total) Add your comment
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  • Jaded

    I’ve never really been a fan of any of the three, but I really enjoyed the performance! I’m definitely a Bruno Mars fan now!

    • Sally in Chicago

      Loved the performances….these are rising stars.

      • UM

        Love him but honestly, his singing was weak!!

      • whatevs

        UM, someone needs to teach him about range. Even in his recorded songs, his voice is straining. It’s pretty grating on my ears.

      • Taylor

        I agree whatevs. He really didn’t sound very good. I like him, but it was a little painful to listen to.

      • regina

        haters go home & shut the f up Bruno has it goin on.

    • franko

      I agree 100%. I so enjoyed the performance and looked and found it on youtube but then got yanked by CBS copyright restrictions. I was able to watch it over again 3 times before it was pulled.

    • Soloos

      Yea, but he has a very thin voice. When he was singing the 60’s throwback I kept thinking of the great 60’s Motown singers who really could have knocked that out — and did for years. I’m not talking nostalgia, just quality of voice.

      • gigantes

        Bruno Mars doesn’t have a thin voice. If you know anything about vocals, you’ll recognize the fact that he never takes any vocal shortcuts. The quality of his voice was evident tonight – just listen to the other performances in comparison to his.

      • Oh

        Oh I guess no one can have a differing opinion. well I agree, his voice was THIN.

      • @gigantes

        Go back and listen to the performance — it’s thin. He is better than a lot of people, of course, but the competition is pretty weak.

      • mduree

        He actually has a great voice. His voice was blown out at the Grammys, which is unfortunate. However, there are numerous videos of him singing amazing live on you tube. Remeber the greats of the Motown generation didn’t have to sing half as much as artists today do. There was a tiny percent of the media outlets that exist today. Now artists sign on a significantly higher number of outlets for promotion. Therefore, losing their voice more often.

    • kaloalo

      i thought that was the best performance of the night – super fun and all three songs were amazingly performed – janelle monae was great

    • Flip

      Bruno Mars is a cokehead, a drug addict, and a junkie. I can’t BELIEVE he was allowed to perform.

      • ani

        what?! a musician who has tried drugs? preposterous!!

        do you know how many gifted musicians would not be allowed to perform if the world went by your rules? i’m not condoning drug use, but your comment is inane.

      • Flip

        Ani, he’s disgusting. Get him OFF my screen!

      • BB

        Someone’s a bit prude.

      • jess

        if you think he’s so disgusting and want him off your screen, then just turn off your tv or change the channel. How hard is that? what’s the point of deliberately watching something that disgusts you and then come and complain as if someone had forced you to sit in front of your tv and pried your eyes open? ridiculous

      • LongTimeFriendOfBruno

        Bruno is clean – and was man enough to come clean on the charges admitting his mistake. He’s an amazing talent and a terrific human being. I’ve known him his whole life. Cast the first stone when you have something to base it on.

    • brandy

      Like Bruno and liked the performane (especialy Janelle), but he would totally benefit from taking his songs down a key or two. Those upper notes were ROUGH.

    • Patty

      I am a old lady,but he had me wanting to get up and dance!

  • Danny

    I’m not crazy about the lyrics of his songs, which keeps me at an arm’s-length from his music. But I can’t deny that he’s incredibly talented otherwise.

  • Alexis

    Bruno Mars IS without a doubt the most talented new artist, he would’ve been up there with the motown stars had he been born back then!

    • Alexis

      I’ve heard him live in a small venue and he absolutely rocks the house!

  • JLG

    Forget Bruno, Janelle Monae stole the show.

    • Candacetx


    • Toni


    • darclyte

      Agreed. Janelle is an amazing performer.

  • melissa

    Definitely. Bruno Mars is insanely talented.

    • Howard Stern is on Twitter

      While Bruno is good singer and a “throw back” to late 50s early 60s soul singers, he looks like Boris Karloff’s “Frankenstein’s Monster.”

      • stupe

        We’re not talking about looks. We’re talking about talent. And BTW, he looks better than many entertainers including the untalented HS. He has been singing since he’s a young boy and he persevered for many years before making it. He has paid his dues. All of you jealous people who can’t be happy for others who’ve succeeded – too bad for you! Bruno Mars is on his way to stardom whether you like it or not!

  • Tristan

    I’ve been wondering where all the great collaborators had gone. Bruno and Jonelle were quite cool.

  • Keith

    I thought he was very entertaining. But Janelle Monae stole that number.

  • Anton

    Bruno didn’t hold a candle to Janelle Monae.

  • Chichi

    WTF, Janelle owned that ‘ish!

  • Woot

    Too bad Janelle Lost to Usher. I am shocked how good Bruno Mars sounds live, he is quite talented. Both he and Janelle were great!

  • Sarah

    Personally, my favorite part was seeing b.o.b wearing a monocle.

    • Hunter

      I literally LOL’d at this comment.

    • gigantes

      Agreed! That was really witty!

    • MissVampireDiaries

      I thought that was so random! LOL.
      B.o.B, Janelle, Burno Mars, and Kid CuDi…maybe there is hope for RnB/Hip Hop.

  • Mike

    The three of them, cee lo and muse reminds me that there really is great music still out. Unfortunately they are not always as popular.

  • Classy

    Couldn’t wait for a blog to post on this performance! I was stunned outta my mind. Bruno was fantastic in his smooth, throw-back rendition of Grenade (which in it’s standard version I kinda hate). However, EW you totally missed the mark with this article loves. Janelle was astounding!!!! When Bruno introduced her I thought “oh no. I like Janelle, but there’s no following that Bruno performance.” But she took the stage like a true supernova and blew that stage away. Bruno was but a memory once Janelle ripped into her performance. Her voice was alluring, unfaltering; she was beautiful and glowing with interesting yet subtle dance moves. I’m absolutely floored by there whole setup and they should be individually lauded instead of compared and dissected against each other-even though that’s what I just did lol.

  • michael

    Bruno Mars was amazing. i love his record and am really impressed with his performance. Definitely gonna look out for tour info!!!

  • Marc

    He can’t sing live, yikes!

    • trent

      Yeah, I’m not sure what everyone else heard, but I thought he sounded terrible.

      • Val

        His vocal performance sucked. he did better on the Bet Awards – he was on point. the arrangements were good. Either he had an off night or he just cant sing live.- I agree w/Mark.

      • am

        I think he was nervous… he’s actually an awesome live performer… youtube him :)

      • me2011

        He gave a pre-Grammy concert a couple of days before too. Nevertheless, he dis an outstanding job! BoB and Janelle…superb!

      • jim

        i agree that he was probably nervous since this is his first time on such a big stage. It’s reasonable to say he’s one of the best live singers out there today … youtube him like someone recommended earlier. He’s really very good.

      • mduree

        Geez, everyone needs to be more informed before they comment. His voice was blown out at the Grammys. He said there were some notes that should not be talked about in his Grammy performance. He completely lost his voice after that day. He had been singing everywhere up until that point. Just youtube him. He is amazing live. Everyone strains their voice once in a while.

    • stupe

      How do you know? He’s been singing live all his life!

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