Creation of the German Luftwaffe versus the creation of a new type of Coca-Cola. President Roosevelt discusses the U.S. Social Security Act compared to President Reagan discussing the Soviet Union. The Volkswagen Beetle or the space shuttle Atlantis. An entire fifty years changes the world, but the entire world doesn’t necessarily change in fifty years. Enter: Elvis Presley (the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music) born in 1935 and Bruno Mars (one of the most successful and celebrated male artists of all time) born fifty years later in 1985. Though they took the stage so far apart, Elvis and Bruno share quite a few similarities.
Aside from their luscious haircuts and upbeat tunes, the two artists have more in common than most realize. For starters, Presley and Mars started their music careers before the age of twenty, an accomplishment in and of itself. They are also both pioneers in the recording business; Elvis was one of the first to popularize rockabilly (a mixture of early rock and roll with Southern country styles), and Bruno Mars took (and is still taking) on a unique fusion between pop and R&B with reggae and other influences. In a further, deeper analysis, it’s clear that they both have a lovable flamboyance but a sincere passion for what they do, something rare to find in any industry.
Granted there are more than a few differences: Mars’s real name is actually Peter Gene Hernandez, while Elvis is still Elvis. Elvis first strummed in Mississippi opposed to Mars 4,000 miles away in Hawaii. Mars is of Filipino and Puerto Rican descent, and Elvis might have had a great-great-grandmother of questionable Cherokee ancestry. But all the same, they transcend countless boundaries that fifty years put in between them. It might have helped that Bruno Mars (following that age-old Hawaiian tradition) grew up a massive Elvis Presley fan. In fact, Mars reincarnated the King as an impersonator when he was a child.
But still, Mars had to strain his ears through the din of Nickelback and Creed *shudder* to feel the rhythms of the past. And clearly, he has made it work with 233 nominations across the world yielding an overall 68 awards, including two Grammys so far (along with soon-to-be two Super Bowl Halftime Show appearances). Of course, none of this discounts Elvis Presley’s THREE Grammys plus his Lifetime Achievement Award and virtual sainthood in the memories of millions. But more importantly, neither Elvis nor Bruno has won a distinguished Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award…
In any case, there is one prominent similarity between the two artists: both are among music’s greats. They have each established their place in history and continue to influence generations of aspiring musicians to this day. So let’s keep the party going with these rockin’ tees!