In yet another extraordinary testament to his immense cultural relevance that belies his tender years, 26-year-old musician Bruno Mars has made history by becoming the 10th male ever – yes, since time came into being – to appear on the cover of Playboy mag.
Mars, whose performance of his hit “Runaway” last month at the Grammy Awards was dubbed “triumphant” and “glorious” by MTV News, went all doo-wop ‘n’ rockabilly for the cover pic.
Decked out in a white jacket over a black shirt, Mars straddles a cream-colored electric guitar while a lovely woman – April Playmate Raquel Pomplun – looks on with lusty adoration.
(Coverboy Mars follows in the footsteps of such Playboy cover men as Peter Sellers, Burt Reynolds, Steve Martin and Donald Trump.)
Mars, who was born Peter Gene Hernandez in Honolulu, tells the mag he grew up admiring the classiest of the classy American warblers.
“Growing up in the showbiz world, I looked up to those guys: Frank Sinatra and of course Elvis Presley,” he says. “My dad was into the 1950s doo-wop era. If you look at those groups, or at James Brown, Jackie Wilson and the Temptations in the 1960s, you’ll see you had to be sharp onstage.”
But Mars also loves to rock. Really rock.
Asked which musician (who has ever lived) he'd most like to work with, Bruno chose the ultimate 1960's guitar god.
"Jimi Hendrix," he says.
"I think he’s the greatest guitar player in the world, and I would want to see him do his thing in person. He’s the reason I picked up a guitar in the first place."
The 13-time Grammy nominee also discusses his album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, which has been certified 36x Platinum worldwide.
“My album is called Doo-Wops & Hooligans, but it’s not a 1950s ‘Earth Angel’ sound like you hear in Grease-type movies. I could sing you a thousand and one doo-wop songs. I love the simplicity in that music. It’s not superpoetic, it’s just from the heart.”
And what a superheart it is.