On the new episode of Billboard’s 12 Hours With… presented by Facebook Watch, Prince Royce shares his journey to the Billboard Latin Music Awards, where he performed “Lao a Lao” for the first time. From picking his outfits to the moment he steps off the stage, his Dominican and New York roots shine through.
“My best moments were in the Bronx,” remembers the chart-topping artist. “There’s a lot of successful people that come out of New York, like J.Lo, Jay-Z, Marc Anthony, and being born and raised in New York is what brought me here. It’s something that makes you want to hustle because you want to get out of the hood.”
Now, the bachata singer — who’s incorporated pop, R&B and even mariachi elements into his music — has his own day in New York City, where Aug. 9 is known as “Prince Royce Day.” He was also inducted into the Bronx Hall of Fame with a street named after him.
“My parents came to the U.S. [from the Dominican Republic] at a young age to pursue that ‘American Dream.’ They worked at a factory, my dad drove a yellow cab. I think seeing all those things makes me appreciate all the things I have today,” he says, adding that he grew up in a household that spoke Spanglish since his parents didn’t speak much English and he wasn’t fluent in Spanish. “It’s a very common thing among U.S. Latinos.”
In the nearly 13-minute video, Royce talks about the sacrifices he’s had to make to make it in the music industry. “I wanted to do music and would do whatever it had to take. If I had to move to Hawaii or wherever to do what I had to do, I would’ve. I ended breaking up with my ex-girlfriend basically to come to Miami because I really wanted to do this.”
The sacrifices paid off. Over the past 11 years, the 32-year-old artist has had 21 No. 1 radio hits. In 2020, he broke a Guinness World Record with 29 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Tropical Airplay Chart.
The four-part series, which premiered with 12 Hours with Maluma on Oct. 8, digs deep into Maluma, Anitta, Prince Royce and Mariah Angeliq’s stories about how their heritage and roots helped build a foundation for their music careers and how they’re shaping culture and building on generations of Latin influence across the globe.
Billboard’s 12 Hours With… Facebook Watch series was executive produced by Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman on behalf of The Intellectual Property Corporation, an Industrial Media Company, with showrunner and executive producer Rachelle Mendez. Learn more about Facebook’s Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations here.
Up next is 12 Hours With Mariah Angeliq, which will round out the series on Friday, Oct. 15 at 9 am ET. Below, watch 12 Hours With Prince Royce.