"24k Magic" will be the singer’s first single since Mark Ronson's 2014’s mega-smash “Uptown Funk!,” with Mars featured on lead vocals. The single tied for the second-longest-leading Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper ever, with 14 weeks at the number 1 spot. It'll also be his first brand-new music as a lead artist to be commercially released since his 2012 album, Unorthodox Jukebox, though two Super Bowl half time appearances and his “Uptown Funk!” appearance have ensured he hasn't slipped far from the public consciousness.
Although there is no release date for the album as of yet, take a look back on Mars' journey to album three, and what he’s been working on in between.
The first hint that Mars was working on new music came with a Facebook post following the end of his Moonshine Jungle Tour in September of 2014, where he hinted that he was working on “chapter 3,” which was assumed to be his upcoming third album.
In an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show promoting “Uptown Funk” in early 2015, Mars kept the release date of a future album vague and that he was going to work on it “Until it’s done... It’s got to be just as good if not better [than Unorthodox Jukebox].”
Then came his guest appearance alongside Coldplay and Beyonce at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, which his father, Pete Hernandez, claims delayed the release of his next album. In an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Hernandez said the album was set to drop this March before his Super Bowl appearance “threw him back several months.”
“Bruno has seven great new songs -- I’ve heard ‘em -- but the album should now be released in September or October, to qualify for next year’s Grammy Awards.”
Mars’ bass player Jamareo Artis offered further clues about the new work, explaining that “we’ve been working on it for about a year, trying different ideas and experimenting," in an interview with Bass Player Magazine. “I don’t know what’s going to be included in the final version, but it’s going to have a new sound, and so far the material is very groove-oriented. It’ll be out sometime this year, and then we’ll hit the road again.”
Mars also scored a co-writing credit on the decade's fastest-selling LP, partly penning Adele’s climactic ballad “All I Ask,” from her 2015 album 25.
As far as collaborators for his new album, he is expected to team up with names like Skrillex, "Uptown" bud Mark Ronson and possibly Missy Elliott, who posted of the two in the studio together in April.
Skrillex confirmed to Billboard this summer that he was working with Mars for his new album, detailing: “What we're doing is so f--king different, awesome and next level, and sounds like nothing else that's happened before.”
The producer also commented to Complex: “Who knows if I’ll do something that’s more of a Skrillex thing with him, but he has a vision for his album... It’s incredible. He’s my favorite songwriter to work with, and he’s the most fun guy to be in the studio with.”
Mars is expected to perform his first concert of the year at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT on Oct. 7.