After co-writing and singing the hit song Billionaire in 2010, Grammy Award winner Bruno Mars seemed to be pulling no stops to actually become one.
“I wanna be a billionaire so freakin' bad, buy all of the things I never had. I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine, smiling next to Oprah and the Queen,” he sings. “A different city every night oh right, I swear, the world better prepare for when I'm a billionaire.”
Since the hit song’s release, Mars has produced three Grammy-winning albums, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Unorthodox Jukebox, and 24K Magic which resulted in sold-out arena shows worldwide.
Mars, whose real name is Peter Gene Hernandez, was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii by a Puerto Rican father, Peter Hernandez, and Filipino mother, Bernadette San Pedro Bayot. He moved to Los Angeles by the time he turned 18 to pursue a career in music. While he lived in the US most of his life, Mars has proudly identified himself as half-Filipino.
The Grammy-award winner is slated to perform two sold-out shows at the SM MOA Arena on May 3 and 4 as part of his 24K Magic World Tour. This is the third time Mars is performing in the country.
Yet, despite his artistic and commercial successes, it seems that billionaire status remains a distant dream for Mars.
When he appeared for the first time on Forbes magazine’s Highest Paid Musicians list in 2014, Mars ranked 12th with a net worth of $60 million, driven by the success of his Moonshine Jungle Tour. The concert tour took him to more than 30 countries with a total of 154 shows in two years, grossing $156.4 million. That is six times larger than what he earned in his first global concert tour from 2010 to 2011, the Doo-Wops & Hooligans tour, which only raked in $25.7 million.
By 2015, Mars was on the tailend of his Moonshine Jungle Tour and was working on his third album. He only ranked 22nd on the Forbes list, with a net worth of $40 million.
The singer-songwriter was absent on the list in 2016, but returned the next year, at 22nd place with a net worth of $39 million. His new status was again largely driven by his live shows. He is currently traveling around the world for his 24K Magic World Tour, which has earned $238.3 million so far, according to Billboard. That means the tour has sold more than 2.3 million tickets and raked in more than a million dollars a night.
While his net worth remains far below the billionaire threshold, he is definitely one if his fortune is converted into the local currency. In Philippine peso terms, he’s worth more than a billion, or Php1.99 billion to be exact.
Elyssa Christine Lopez is a staff writer of Entrepreneur PH. Follow her on Twitter @elyssalopz