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Bruno Mars Establishes Scholarship Fund to Send Hawaiian Kids to Grammy Camp

Image courtesy of John Paul Filo/CBS (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of John Paul Filo/CBS (via ABC News Radio)

Bruno Mars has been performing since he was a little kid, and now he wants to help other kids do the same thing.  He's established a scholarship fund that will pay to send kids from his home state of Hawaii to a special "Grammy Camp" each year.

The money for the Bruno Mars Scholarship Fund is coming from the Hawaii Community Foundation, which is providing a grant on Bruno's recommendation.  Each year for the next five years, one qualified high school student from Hawaii will have his or her tuition covered so they can attend Grammy Camp, an interactive summer music experience where kids can learn the ins and outs of the music biz from industry professionals. At Grammy Camp, kids can study everything from music journalism, to audio engineering, to songwriting, to performing.  Visit GrammyIntheSchools.com to apply.

It's not surprising that Bruno wants to support kids in making their dreams of music come true.  Earlier this month, when he was asked by some young reporters about his own struggles to succeed in the music industry, he offered advice to anyone who wants to pursue a career in that field, or in anything that they're passionate about.

"I just know that I've always wanted to do music, no matter what," he said. "Whether it was going to be on a Super Bowl halftime show [or anything else]...I was gonna be doing music.  That's all I know how to do. So I came out to California [from Hawaii], started writing songs and just wanted to take my music to the next level."

Unfortunately, Bruno says, he ran into some major resistance. 

"Don't let anyone ever try to stop you," he advised the young reporters. "That's what I had to face when I moved up to California. Nobody knew what nationality I was and that was such a big deal I guess in the music business like, 'We don't know who to sell these records or what radio station.' And a lot of people were trying to just tell me, 'No, you're too unorthodox.'" That, he says, is where he got the title of his album Unorthodox Jukebox .

In fact, it took Bruno years of working behind the scenes before he finally became the Grammy-winning star we all love today, but he never lost sight of his goal of becoming a star. That's why he told the reporters that staying focused and working hard is the ticket to success. 

"If you got your head on straight and you just focus on what you love to do and spend all your time practicing your craft," he said, "Then you have nowhere else to go but up."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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