Latin pop star Prince Royce made his Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo debut on Feb. 26 as the night's headlining performer. His hits-filled concert was also history-making because he was the first tropical artist to take to the rotating stage. Royce fed off the energy of the full NRG Stadium and put on a high-octane show. "This is a big ass place," he said in awe of the massive venue. There was a whole lot of singing, dancing and excitement during his nearly two-hour set. Here's five highlights from the show and five reasons to see the bachata music sensation live.
5. Royce loves the classics
Royce's career was launched nine years ago with his debut single, a Spanglish cover of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me." This was one of his openers for the concert. "1964," he said. "You gotta know this song if you're young or old." His beloved bachata music take on it had the whole stadium singing along. During "Extraordinary," he interpolated a bit of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" into the mix. The best classic of the night was his surprise cover of late Tejano music legend Selena Quintanilla-Pérez's "No Me Queda Más" (I Have Nothing Left). "Just today in 1995 Selena was here," Royce said about her last iconic concert in the Astrodome. "This is for her." He performed a beautiful tropical rendition of the ballad.
4. Royce is candid in concert
Royce just says whatever is on his mind in concert. There's nothing scripted about him. After calling the NRG stadium a "big ass place," he said it was a dream for someone like him from the Bronx, New York to entertain such a huge crowd. "You gotta appreciate every moment for real." When he was looking for a lady to take onstage for the romantic "Incondicional" (Unconditional), a young girl rushed the stage. Royce took a picture with her and then said, "She gotta be my No. 1 fan. She gotta be single and she gotta be 18 and over." After the woman that he picked wasn't dancing with him, Royce blurted out, "If she don't know how to dance bachata, can I get someone else to dance with me?" But eventually, the lucky lady got into the groove.
3. Royce is a genre-bending artist
Royce is most known as one of bachata music's brightest stars. The Latin genre was born in the Dominican Republic, where his family has roots. At the start of this decade, he thrived in bachata with hits he performed liked "Corazón Sin Cara" (Heart Without a Face) and "Soy El Mismo" (I'm the Same). Recently, Royce has experimented with new sounds like the reggae-influenced "Darte Un Beso" (Give You a Kiss), the concert's incredible closer, and Latin trap on show standouts "Sensualidad" (Sensuality) sans reggaetoneros Bad Bunny and J Balvin, and the turnt-up "El Clavo" (The Nail). He even has bangers in English like the playful "Back it Up."
2. Royce LOVES the fans
One thing Royce noticed right away was how far the stage was from the fans in the stadium. He usually tosses roses to girls in the audience in his shows. Royce tried to this time in a few failed and hilarious attempts. During the steamy "Adicto," he brought the roses to shrieking girls by walking off the stage to the barricades. "Rodeo Houston, my bad," Royce said. "I don't mean to get all over the place like this but I got to get close to my fans."
1. Royce is a flirt
Royce has been and will always be a big flirt and that's the fun part of his shows. He opened the concert wearing a gold-studded jacket. After awhile, Royce said, "It's too hot for that right now." He tossed the jacket to reveal his sleeveless white outfit that bared his toned arms to loud screams from the audience. Fittingly during "Sensualidad" Royce picked up his shirt to flash his abs and once again the crowd collectively lost it. "Ladies, if you ain't got that special someone to give a kiss, I'll give you a kiss later," he said before taking the woman onstage for "Incondicional." The one thing the Rodeo Houston did not get was a shirtless Royce, who usually loses his shirt by the end of his shows. Instead fans got to see Royce make a smooth exit in the back of a pickup truck.