Mars has stated
that the sounds he brings to life are inspired by the music he grew up on; his father was a performer, a fan of doo-wop who played 1950's rock n' roll and Little Richard numbers. His mother was a singer and dancer, and he grew up listening to music from the doo-wop and Motown eras and genres. And any similarities between his work and other artists' are not by mistake. His many James Brown tributes make it clear that his slick footwork and splits
are influenced by Brown — moves he's been hitting since the age of 4, when he was a young dancer and artist impersonator in Hawaii. (Don't believe me? Do yourself a favor and watch a little baby Bruno Mars dancing.
) And Mars' Prince tribute
at the 2017 Grammys was widely acclaimed for both his talent and
his reverential attention to detail, thanks his Purple Rain-esque guitar, eyeliner, and support from Prince's own beloved musical partner and friend, Sheila E. And that recent music video to the catchy remix of "Finesse" featuring a colorful, baggy, '90s-style look straight out of In Living Color
? Mars ends the clip with the words "Dedicated to In Living Color.