Before becoming a successful solo artist, Mars was an acknowledged music producer, writing songs for many artists such as Alexandra Burke, Travie McCoy, Adam Levine, Brandy, Sean Kingston Flo Rida and Far East Movement.
As part of the Smeezingtons, he became recognized as a solo artist after lending his vocals to the songs "Nothin' on You" by B.o.B. The track turned out to be an enormous hit, skyrocketing to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and instantly transformed Bruno Mars from a behind-the-scenes composer into a pop performer.
Bruno also co-wrote Travie McCoy's "Billionaire." He came up with the lyrical concept for "Billionaire" during a trip to London, where he was given £240 ($350) by his record label to spend for 11 days.
In fact, Bruno Mars actually received six nominations; Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Nothin' on You," Record of the Year for "Nothin' on You" and "Fuck Y*u", Song of the Year for "Fuck Y*u," and Producer of the Year, Non-Classical at the 53rd Grammy Awards.
On September 22, 2011, it was announced on Mars' website that his new song "It Will Rain" will appear on the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which was released on November 8.
In December 2012, Mars released his second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox. In the United States, the album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with sales of 187,000. The album also charted number one album in Switzerland. In the United Kingdom, it became the fastest selling album by a recording artist in 2012.