Bruno Mars: ‘Drug arrest was the reality check I needed’

Bruno Mars now views his arrest for cocaine possession as a cautionary “reality check”.
The Locked Out of Heaven hitmaker made headlines in September 2010 when he was caught with the substance in his Las Vegas hotel room. After taking a deal to avoid jail time, Bruno plead guilty to felony drug possession, and he served 200 hours of community service, paid a $2,000 (£1,604) fine and took a drug counselling course, which helped to get him get back on the straight and narrow.
“I did something very stupid,” he told CBS’ 60 Minutes host Lara Logan on Sunday night’s (20Nov16) episode. “I’m in Las Vegas, Lara. I’m 24 years old. I’m, you know, drinking way more than I’m supposed to be drinking and it was so early in my career and I always say that I think it had to happen. That was the reality check I needed… I promised myself that, you know, you ain’t never gonna read about that again.”
Bruno’s run in with the law came just as he was re-establishing himself as an artist, having been dropped by Motown Records less than a year after he signed with them in 2004. The singer previously spoke about the toll it took on him, admitting he may have shed some tears, but looking back now he understands the company’s decision.
“I don’t blame Motown,” Bruno, whose decision to swap his real name Peter Hernandez for his stage moniker played a part in the incident, shrugged. “I wasn’t ready yet. I think everybody don’t (sic) know what colour I am. It’s like, ‘He’s not black enough. He’s not white enough. He’s got a Latin last name but he doesn’t have – he doesn’t speak Spanish. Who are we selling this to? Are you making urban music? Are you making pop music? What kind of music are you making?’”
Things couldn’t be better for the 31-year-old now though, with over 60 accolades – including a Billboard Music Award and four Grammys – to his name and three hit albums, the most recent of which, 24K Magic, was released last week (18Nov16).