By 2010, Mars seemed to be everywhere: singing alongside B.o.B on the chart-topping “Nothin’ on You,” co-writing Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire,” and collaborating with Cee-Lo Green on the Grammy-nominated hit “F*ck You!” He also began issuing his own material, starting with the May 2010 release of his first EP, It’s Better If You Don’t Understand. Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Mars’ full-length debut, appeared later that year and quickly produced a number one single, “Just the Way You Are.” In 2012, Mars both hosted and performed as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live, debuting tracks from his upcoming album.
That album, the genre-jumping effort Unorthodox Jukebox, was released that same year, and featured the lead-off single “Locked Out of Heaven,” along with production from Mark Ronson, Diplo, and others. “Locked Out of Heaven” topped the pop charts, and the album reached number two in the U.S. (The second single, “When I Was Your Man,” also hit number one.) All that success made Mars a natural for one of the world’s most prestigious gigs, the halftime show for Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014, where he performed with Red Hot Chili Peppers as a musical guest and drew record ratings. Also in 2014, Unorthodox Jukebox won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. The following year, he fronted Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk,” a song he co-wrote that was among the most popular singles of that year.
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