The Real Story Behind Uptown Funk

In 2014, Bruno Mars used some of his 24-karat magic to help Mark Ronson strike gold with the megahit "Uptown Funk," which features on Ronson's album "Uptown Special," per NPR. If you've somehow never heard it, just know that it's catchier than the flu and there's no vaccine for this song. The video is nothing to sneeze at, either. Mars somehow manages to look too hot and too cool for school at the same time. Don't believe it? Just watch. He and a group of dudes perform a wicked dance routine while informing viewers that Uptown will "funk you up," almost giving the impression that a "West Side Story"-style beatdown is about to go down.

"Uptown Funk" went so viral after its release that, as Entertainment Weekly reports, in 2015, human meme Rick Astley briefly gave up singing "Never Gonna Give You Up" to pull off the world's most meta Rick-roll, performing "Uptown Funk" at an '80s-themed festival. The song resonated so deeply with then-college football player Brian Guendling that he created a music video with choreographed sign language so that the hearing impaired could also get down with "Uptown Funk," according to CBS 8. And in 2016, the single became only the 10th song or album to attain diamond status since the inception of diamond awards in 1999, per Billboard.

The origin of Uptown Funk

How did this epic earworm come into existence? While it's technically Mark Ronson's song, Bruno Mars has his prints all over it. Speaking with NPR, Ronson explained that the magic began with a jam session at Bruno Mars's studio. Mars also co-wrote the song and performed the vocals. During their fateful jam, Mars was playing drums while Ronson played bass and producer Jeff Bhasker did his thing on the synthesizers. 

According to Ronson, the "spirit, or at least the raucousness of maybe that" is in the song. With some fine-tuning the song became so fine that it likely inspired the line, "Gotta kiss myself, I'm so pretty." "Uptown Funk" would win the 2015 Grammy Award for Record of the Year. While accepting the honor, Ronson remarked that the song "came from pure joy." That's also what people felt when hearing it.