Did you know that Bruno Mars real name isn’t actually Bruno Mars? Shocking right! He was actually born Peter Gene Hernandez, but as a young child, his father thought he looked so much like WWWE heavyweight champion Bruno Sammartino that he gave him the wrestling legend’s first name as a moniker. Fast forward several decades into the future and the pop star was finally able to come face-to-face with the man who lent him his now worldwide recognized name.
Mars was in Pittsburgh to perform the latest date of his massive 24K Magic World Tour where he met up with Sammartino — who was recently immortalized with his own statue in Italy — backstage for a photo op. “I was nicknamed after this professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino,” Mars noted in a caption of the tete-a-tete that he shared on Instagram. “Tonight in Pittsburgh I had the honor of meeting him!”
In a recent interview with Latina Magazine, Mars went even deeper about the backstory for how he got his name, as well as to dispel the rumors that he changed it to hide his Puerto Rican heritage. “Why would I f*cking say that? Who are you fooling? And why would anyone say that? That’s so insulting to me, to my family,” he said. “The real story is: I was going to go by ‘Bruno,’ one name. Mars just kind of came joking around because that sounds bigger than life. That was it, simple as that.”