Popular Music/Bruno Mars/Grenade

"Grenade" is a song by American singer and songwriter Bruno Mars. It was released on September 28, 2010, as the second and final promotional single by Elektra Records, as an iTunes Store-exclusive, less than a week before the release of Doo-Wops & Hooligans. An accompanying music video was released on November 22, 2010.

Background and compositionEdit

In an interview with Idolator on August 31, 2010, Bruno Mars revealed the song's conception and inspiration, saying that he was with his friend Benny Blanco, who was playing a couple of songs to Mars, including one having lyrics similar to the ones in "Grenade". Bruno Mars described it as a "heartbreaking, heartbreak song" that is extremely relatable. "You’re so in love with this woman and you don’t understand, “What am I doing wrong? What am I not giving to you? I’ll go as far as putting as putting a bullet in my brain for you, and why can’t I get that kind of love in return?”" In the same interview, Bruno Mars mentioned that the song was his personal favorite and planned to release it as a single. Ari Levine said the writing of "Grenade" was among the most difficult songs in the album since it took several months to complete. Later, on April 21, 2012, the team said that the last line of the song was the conflict, since it took two months for them to come up with the line, "but you won't do the same."


Critical reception for "Grenade" was overall positive. Robert Copsey of Digital Spy gave a review of four stars out of five, praising Mars's vocals, "Mars has the vocal chops ... to carry that off", and emotional lyrics. Ken Tucker for NPR noticed that "It's hard to resist the clever come-on refrain of "Grenade" – 'I'd catch a grenade for ya'", adding that the song had a "creamy melody".

The song won several nominations. In 2011, "Grenade" was nominated for "Choice Music – Break-Up Song" at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards. It was also nominated for the title of "Best Song" at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards. In 2012, "Grenade" was nominated for three Grammy Awards:

  • Record of the Year
  • Song of the Year
  • Best Pop Solo Performance

Music videoEdit

The music video for this song was released to MTV on November 19, 2010. Three days later, on November 22, the song was released to Bruno Mars' YouTube channel, Elektra Records. The video is intended as a visual metaphor for the struggles that Bruno is willing to endure to reach his lover. In the music video, Bruno is seen dragging a piano through Los Angeles. When he reaches the woman's house and finds out she is with another man, he drags himself and the piano in front of a train to attempt suicide. As the train approaches Bruno at full speed, the screen cuts to black, and the video ends. Bruno Mars clarifies that the video is meant to be a metaphor and is not meant to be taken literally. He warns his viewers that they should not try to imitate the actions in the video. On the YouTube page, the video description reads: The actions in this video serve as a metaphor and should not be taken literally. I am aware of the power of visual media, and I encourage everyone who watches this video to understand that it is an artistic interpretation of the song, and not something to imitate."


Within its first 48 hours online, the clip received over 368,000 views on YouTube. By November 29, the video had racked up over 2,860,000 views in seven days. The following is a timeline of selected view count milestones.

Views Date Achieved
10,000,000 December 10, 2010
25,000,000 December 26, 2010
50,000,000 January 22, 2011
100,000,000 March 2, 2011
200,000,000 August 23, 2011
300,000,000 June 2, 2013
400,000,000 December 30, 2014
500,000,000 January 3, 2016
600,000,000 December 19, 2016
700,000,000 October 7, 2017
1,000,000,000 March 10, 2021