BRUNO'S BACKGROUND: Is Bruno Mars black? Almost half a million online fans Google a range of questions about the race, ethnicity and nationality of the Hawaiian-born music star. In fact, his ancestry is a complex mix of African, European, Asian and Indian.

IS AMERICAN SINGER-SONGWRITER Bruno Mars black, Indian, Puerto Rican, Filipino or Native American? 45,000 online fans are not sure. That is the approximate global number who Google this exact question about the music celebrity each year. Altogether, the search engine records a total of approximately 450,000 annual searches for various questions on the topic of Mars’ race, ethnicity, nationality and parents background.

HERITAGE BLURRED
Why are so many fans curious? Because, like actress Rosario Dawson, Mars’ look is EA — ethnically ambiguous; he has frizzy black hair, light skin and “mixed” features. His look sends thousands of confused fans to the browsers of their smartphones, tablets and computers for some racial and ethnic clarification. This interest in his heritage peaks across the Internet whenever he performs at major events such as the 2016 Superbowl. So, what exactly is his ethnic background?

MARS PARENTS BACKGROUND
Mars (real name Peter Hernandez Jr) was born into a family of musicians in Honolulu, Hawaii on October 8, 1985. His father, Pete Hernandez, is of Puerto Rican, Hungarian and Ukrainian ancestry, while his late mother, Bernadette was Filipino. Mars’ father is a singer and founder member of a Hawaiian vocal group called the Love Notes. His mother, a hula dancer, also sang with the group. She died of a brain aneurysm in 2013.

ETHNICITY & NATIONALITY
Although he may look biracial, Mars ethnic background is more complex than that. The Philippines, where his mother was born, has a diverse history that includes people of east-Asian (mainly Chinese), South-east Asian and European (mainly Spanish) heritage. Added to this, on Mars’ father’s side, most Puerto Ricans are descendants of Taíno Indians, Africans, Europeans, or a combination of these ethnic groups. Mars shares his part Puerto-Rican ancestry with other celebrities such as Hollywood actress Zoe Saldana and supermodel Joan Smalls.

BLACK LIGHT
The 30-year-old star, who began his music career as an Elvis impersonator, evokes the same questions about his race, ethnicity and parents background as other light-skinned music contemporaries such as Beyonce and Rihanna. The question often asked is, has their ethnic ambiguity contributed to their ability to crossover to wider audiences? Does light skin and “EA features” sell more records than dark skin and a more African face? Opinions differ, but one thing is for certain — no one crosses over without first having talent, and a bunch of decent tunes.

Ben Arogundade's book, 'Black Beauty', is out now.

Is Bruno Mars Black? 450,000 Google Questions About His Ethnicity, Race, Nationality & Parents Background

BRUNO MARS EPITOMISES the ethnic ambiguity of so many of today's celebrities. The curiosity about his ancestry is sending increasing numbers of fans to Google for answers. By Ben Arogundade. [Feb.10.2016]

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WATCH: BRUNO MARS INTERVIEW ON THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW

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PHOTO BIOGRAPHY: Hawaiian-born Bruno Mars, bottom left, was one of six children born to Peter and Bernadette Hernandez (centre). FAMILY MEMORIES: Bruno Mars as an adult, with his late mother Bernadette.

*BRUNO MARS ETHNICITY, NATIONALITY, RACE, ACCORDING TO GOOGLE SEARCH

5,500

The number of people worldwide who Google the question, “What race is Bruno Mars?” each month.

10,000

The number of people worldwide who Google the phrase, “Bruno Mars nationality” each month.

15,000

The number of people worldwide who Google the phrase “Bruno Mars ethnicity” each month.

All figures for “Bruno Mars Ethnicity, Nationality, Race According to Google Search”, supplied by Google. Stats include global totals for laptop and desktop computers and mobile devices.

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