Nicole Sands and Harriet Sokmensuer
March 05, 2017 10:25 PM

Bruno Mars‘ musical abilities are pure 24k gold.

The 21-time Grammy Award nominee and four-time Grammy winner was presented with the most prestigious award of the evening during the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards — the Innovator Award.

Mars thanked his band before talking about his humble beginnings as an artist.

“We’ve come a long way. We used to play in bars not too far away from here, two-hundred seater rooms. You see these guys in the videos, you see these guys in the Super Bowl,” Mars said. “This is my family right here.”

Mars also thanked his fans in the audience and at home.

“I do this all for you guys. You guys make me want to be a better songwriter, a better performer, a better entertainer. Innovator is a very heavy word [and] I’m so honored. It’s a little ironic for me because I genuinely feel like I’m just getting started. So, buckle up. I don’t know where we’re going yet but we’re going — keep up!”

The award recognizes the highly applauded singer, songwriter, producer and director’s accomplishments in popular culture, and his unsurpassable contributions to the music industry and social causes.

“I’m incredibly honored to be presented with this year’s iHeartRadio Innovator Award,”the “24k Magic” singer told iHeartRadio. “I’m excited to take the stage for the first time at the annual iHeartRadio Music Awards.”

It’s been a big night for the hit-maker, who was nominated for both Song of the Year and Best Collaboration last year. He also took the stage to perform and is nominated in the ‘Best Cover Song’ category for “All I Ask,” which he helped create for Adele’s latest album 25.

For his performance, the singer-songwriter stayed classic in a black and white ensemble matching with his band in Adidas sneakers. Mars performed a medley of his songs “Treasure” and “That’s What I Like” before accepting his award.

As one of the best-selling artists in music history, selling over 170 million singles worldwide, Mars has charted 25 Billboard Hot 100 hits and has the longest-leading Hot 100 single of the 2010s for “Uptown Funk”— his 2015 collaboration with Mark Ronson.

Aside from his own tracks, Mars has produced and written hits for other artists including Justin Bieber, Flo Rida, CeeLo Green, Snoop Dogg, Jay Z and Kanye West, and more.

The iHeartRadio Music Awards will broadcast live from Los Angeles on March 5 on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, and will also air simultaneously on iHeartMedia stations nationwide and across the iHeartRadio digital music platform.

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