Bruno Mars has sent his condolences to the family of WWE legend Bruno Sammartino, the man who is the inspiration for his stage name. “Sending love and prayers to Bruno Sammartino’s family. He was such a gentleman when I met him & really meant a lot to my father & I. RIP,” his tweet said.
Sammartino died Wednesday at the age of 82. The “Italian Superman” held numerous titles and was the WWE’s longest-reigning world champion which ESPN says he held for nearly eight consecutive years.
Mars was born Peter Gene Hernandez, but was nicknamed “Bruno” by his father because he was a huge fan of the wrestler. His dad said the inspiration for the nickname was because Mars was a “chunky” baby – and Sammartino was about 275 pounds at his prime wrestling weight.
The two Brunos met last August during a 24K Magic World Tour pit-stop in Pittsburgh and the singer shared a photo on Instagram.
WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino has passed away at age 82. https://t.co/B8nUabP0oh
— WWE (@WWE) April 18, 2018