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When I Was Your Man

“When I Was Your Man” is a song recorded by American singer and songwriter Bruno Mars for his second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox (2012). Atlantic Records released the song as the third promotional single and as the second official single, taken from the album, to mainstream radio in the United States on January 15, 2013. “When I Was Your Man” was written by Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine and Andrew Wyatt; with Mars, Lawrence and Levine credited for composing the song as well.

The pop song is an emotional piano ballad with lyrics describing the heartbreak and regret Mars felt from letting his lover get away, and his expressed hope that her new man will give her all the love and attention that he failed to provide. It features Mars singing and a piano accompaniment as the sole instrumentation. “When I Was Your Man” received mostly positive reviews from music critics, who generally praised Mars’ vocal prowess; calling it a “vulnerable and emotional ballad”. The song won “Favorite Hit” at the 2013 Premios Juventud and was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. “When I Was Your Man” topped the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and reached the top ten on the singles chart of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea and the United Kingdom. It was certified quadruple-platinum in Australia and in the US; while in Canada, it was certified six times platinum. “When I Was Your Man” was the worlds eighth best selling digital single of 2013, with sales of 8.3 million copies; joining an elite group of the best-selling singles worldwide.

Cameron Duddy and Mars directed the ballad’s accompanying music video. It portrays Mars as a “lonely balladeer” who sits at his piano donned in a pair of sunglasses while setting a half-full glass of whiskey atop it. Critics resoundingly complimented the simplicity of the video’s production. The song has been covered by artists, including Mike Ward, who released a studio version of the song after he performed it on The Voice UK. Ward’s cover peaked at number 60 in the UK Singles Chart. “When I Was Your Man” was also added to the soundtrack of the Brazilian soap opera Amor à Vida. Mars performed the song on The Moonshine Jungle Tour (2013–14).

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