For [artist id="3528710"]Bruno Mars[/artist]' deeply personal breakup track "Grenade," the pop crooner hooked up with a man who truly understands dark images: Australian music video director Nabil Elderkin, who has cooked up clips for the likes of Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Diddy and will.i.am. The duo created a clip that mirrors the heartache of the song, where Mars sings about loving someone who won't love him back.
The video dropped in November and has racked up hundreds of millions of views online. It's also up for three Moonmen at Sunday's 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Male Video, Best Pop Video and Video of the Year.
For those who have yet to check out the video, Mars pines over a lovely young lady. To prove his love for her, he puts on his Sunday best and drags his piano across Los Angeles, meeting up with unsavory characters along the way. When he does finally get to his beloved's house, he sees that she is hooking up with another fellow. Heartbroken, he drags his piano away from the home, up one very difficult hill and ends up at a railroad track. Does a completely devastated Mars get hit by the train? Well, that's the video's great, deep, dark mystery.
"It was my concept," the singer told MTV News earlier this month. "I said, 'I want to drag a piano.' I got my friend Nabil to come direct it, and it was a risk because I still hear jokes to this day like, 'What the hell you doing dragging a piano?' " he said. "But it's my art, so shut up!"
"I grew up watching VMAs. I know every performance," Mars said. "Ever since I was a kid, I've been watching MTV VMAs, and when we got the phone call saying that my video was up for Video of the Year, that's the big-boy award."
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live Sunday from Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following the Selena Gomez-hosted pre-show at 8. See the list of nominees, revisit last year's highlights and vote for your favorites in the general categories by visiting VMA.MTV.com.