In 2012, a relatively fresh-faced Bruno Mars attended the 54th Annual Grammy Awards with six nominations to his name, including nods in three of the General Field categories: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year. He ended the night going home with none.
What a difference a few years make.
There were several storylines going into the 2018 edition of the Grammys; not one of them predicted Mars sweeping the six categories he was nominated in—seven, if you include 24K Magic winning in the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical category. Sure, he was favored in a handful of them, and the outcome of his sweep was somewhat overshadowed by the outcry over Kendrick and Jay Z snubs, but after taking a step back it's hard not to be impressed by the huge night he had.
His six Grammy wins in one night puts him in a class with Beyoncé, Quincy Jones, and Adele, and only two out from Michael Jackson and Santana for most Grammys in one night (for Thriller and Supernatural, respectively). 24K Magic also now stands as one of the top 10 all-time honored albums in Grammy history. To that end, Mars is in a distinguished group of artists who have won Song, Record, and Album of the Year in one night. Among them: Carole King, Eric Clapton, and Adele, who's done it twice.
Mars' 6-Grammy night has him on a 10-Grammy run dating back to 2014; his last Grammy before this run was in 2011 for "Just the Way You Are," which won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. And maybe most impressive is that the 32-year-old artist did it with an album that is primarily R&B in sound and style. You can count on one hand how many artists in the R&B field have earned the coveted Album of the Year Grammy in its 60-year history: Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, and most recently Ray Charles in 2005.
Sunday night solidified Bruno Mars as one of the most acclaimed artists of our generation. With the rate he releases albums, we may not get the next one until 2020, but trust that it will be up for gold when it arrives.