Mark Ronson's surprise hit -- the No. 1 "Uptown Funk" with Bruno Mars -- has been a huge one, making him, at the late age of 39, a star. "No one was holding their breath for a Mark Ronson record in 2015," he tells Billboard. "I'm sure I wasn't on any Sony sales projection."
"If you only knew Mark from photographs," says novelist Michael Chabon (whose lyrics were used on Ronson's new album, 'Uptown Special'), "you might think he's very cool, in every sense of the word. He's not. He's a warm person, very attuned to other people's feelings, and that sensitivity enables him to bring out the best in performers."
"My heroes were DJ Premier and RZA. I was like, 'OK, I have to be involved with this music in some form.' But I can't rap. That's why I got a turntable -- I wanted to start DJ'ing," says Ronson of growing up. "The minute I got turntables, that's all I really cared about."
Producing Amy Winehouse's 2006's 'Back to Black,' he says, "was inspiring, because when you work with someone that great, you suddenly want to be better. In every way, it put me on the map. Take that album away, and you and I would definitely not be talking right now."