"It's been a hell of a year for all of us, and the fact that we did record these songs not too far from here in this little shabby studio, and here we are with Grammy nominations, is a little surreal," the "Just the Way You Are" singer, 25, tells PEOPLE. "We're just thankful."
His nominations include Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, as well as nods for songwriting. But there's someone else the singer-producer, is rooting for at the Feb. 13 ceremony: Cee-Lo Green.
Bruno helped Green, 36, pen his hit "F–– You," which is up for Song of the Year. "I think that's one of our favorite songs that we've ever produced," he says. "And [I've] been such a fan of Cee Lo, always wanted to work with him."
Adds Mars: When we did that song, he just sang the s–– out of it."
And he's not the only one giving the song a little recognition. Gwyneth Paltrow busted out a TV-friendly version of the song on Glee.
"I was pleasantly surprised, and I was impressed," Green says of Paltrow's rendition of his song. "I had no idea that she was a vocalist in the least bit, and she did a great job."