When you think of celebrities who began their careers as Elvis impersonators, names like Cher, Putin and Hasselhoff quickly come to mind, but what about Bruno Mars? The recent Super Bowl halftime performer began channeling Elvis at age two and was once dubbed the “World’s Youngest Elvis Impersonator.” Now that he’s firmly in the spotlight, let’s take a look back — with gifs, videos and some really surprising facts — at the impersonations that paved his path:
— Growing up in Hawaii, Bruno performed as Elvis six nights a week with his family at a local nightclub on Waikiki Beach. His dad (“Dr. Doo-Wop”) was the bandleader, his mother Bernie sang backup, and his brother Eric played the drums.
— In 1990, Bruno was featured in the UK documentary Viva Elvis, which chronicled the world’s fascination with the late King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The adorable little 4-year-old crooner was interviewed with his dad, Peter Hernandez.
— When asked what it is about Elvis that Bruno likes so much, he responds matter-of-factly, “I like his singing and his dance and his lip.” It appears Bruno is still the world’s foremost expert of the “Elvis Lip.”
— Bruno’s parents owned a full-blown Elvis memorabilia store in Oahu when Bruno was young. His dad says that is where Bruno’s fascination with the king started.
“He watches the videos and listens to the cassettes and studies the pictures and he’s really fascinated and in love with the Elvis image,” Hernandez says in the video.
— All that singing and dancing and doo-wopping even led to an appearance as “Little Elvis” in the 1992 film Honeymoon In Vegas.
— In case there was any doubt, fans loved Bruno long before he hit the Super Bowl stage. In fact, here’s how Bruno’s dad described the adoration surrounding his son in 1990: “In Bruno’s case, they’ve fallen in love with him as if he were Elvis himself.”
Yes we have Mr. Hernandez, yes we have.