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From Sales Associate to Superstar: Prince Royce Discusses Fame, Humble Beginnings

Prince Royce has been in the music industry for only eight years, but he has already become a fast-rising star. The bachata singer, whose given name is Geoffrey Royce Rojas, brought his FIVE concert tour to his hometown, New York, performing at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. NBC Latino spoke to him Wednesday about his music, the future of his career, and what it was like for him to go from selling phones at a wireless store to performing on stages all across the country.

Prince Royce
Prince Royce attends the Tidal X: 1015 benefit concert, hosted by Tidal and the Robin Hood Foundation, at the Barclays Center on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in New York. Evan Agostini / AP

Born and raised in the Bronx to Dominican immigrant parents, Prince Royce said he has always embraced his Latin culture. "I spoke Spanish at home, and just in school or in the street... with my friends I speak in English," Prince Royce told NBC Latino. "I went to DR every summer basically, or every other summer at least... I'd stay with my grandparents and that's where I kinda just like started vibing with bachata." Prince Royce has been on tour since June, in support of his latest album, “FIVE.”

But Prince Royce wasn’t always serenading his fans with hits like “Stand By Me,” “Darte un Beso,” and “Déjà vu” which he sings with Shakira.

Before the fame and concert tours, he was a sales associate hustling for commissions at Sprint Wireless. The money Prince Royce earned at that job is how he made his self-titled first album “Prince Royce”. From humble beginnings, he credits his success to the grit and drive he gained while living in New York.

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"The Bronx is a good place. It motivated me to do a lot of what I do now. It still motivates me... you cope with the toughness of it," said Prince Royce. "New York pushed me to become better and I think I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for New York. I don't know, if I grew up somewhere else, I wonder sometimes, if I would have been a singer or if I would have succeeded, ya know? I think the New York hustle is a different type of drive."

That drive is taking him to Miami to sing the National Anthem at El Clásico on Saturday, alongside Marc Anthony. El Clásico, a soccer game between rivals Real Madrid C.F. and F.C. Barcelona, is one of the biggest games in soccer. "It's going to be fun... but I'm a little nervous," Prince Royce said of singing the anthem. Although he loves both teams, he said he's rooting for F.C. Barcelona.

Apart from singing, Prince Royce wants to explore acting and running. In November, he is running the New York City Marathon. "I think I'm officially an athlete, I don't know, but let's see," he said.

Currently, Prince Royce is raising funds for the National Kidney Foundation and Change for Kids at https://www.crowdrise.com/princeroycerunsnyc.

Prince Royce's FIVE tour ends Sunday in Miami. He said he wants to continue doing something positive for his communities.

"It feels great to feel like you're doing something positive," Prince Royce said. "Taking a risk, and gambling and succeeding, I think it's a story that I hope motivates kids like me... I think everything is possible."

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