Family, friends of Hawaii's Bruno Mars watch Grammy telecast with pride

John Valentine
John Valentine
Tommy D
Tommy D

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Seven-time Grammy Awards nominee Bruno Mars took his mother and two of his sisters to the awards show in Los Angeles Sunday. In Hawaii, other family members, friends and those who worked with the talent when he was still a child watched the telecast with pride.

Uncle John Valentine was able to catch Mars' performance at the Grammys before his own gig at the Westin Moana Surfrider Sunday night.

Entertaining is in the family's blood. But Valentine says he always knew his nephew had that extra something special. He says Mars is such a hard worker and deserves all the recognition he's getting.

"It's surreal. It still feels like I'm just dreaming and it's all unfolding," Valentine said. "I knew he'd get here, but I didn't know it was going to be this fast. It's just amazing to see it."

Valentine performs every Sunday at the Moana Surfrider. He beamed with pride as he started off his set with his nephew's Grammy-winning "Just the Way You Are."

Across town, another entertainer fondly recalled working with Mars at the "Aloha Las Vegas" celebrity impersonation show. Tommy D impersonated Roy Orbison next to Mars' Michael Jackson.

He says he was impressed with the then 16-year-old's professionalism and talent.

"He can dance and he sings. He doesn't lip sync," Tommy D said. "So when he was doing all that high energy Thriller and Billie Jean and all that stuff, it was him totally, 100% Bruno. I mean, I have never seen such talent in my life."

Tommy D described him as a true gem, and hoped he would take home at least two Grammys.

Mars wound up collecting just one trophy. But his fans in Hawaii believe there will be more in the future.

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