Royce Bell remembers exactly when he moved to Arizona, right down to the day and time.
“I moved to Arizona on October 18th, 2013 at 7:59 p.m.,” the comedian and musician says. “That’s literally when I got off the plane and went straight to Mill Avenue and partied and fell in love with Arizona… I’ll never forget it.”
Bell was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he became known for drawing crowds at the mall, barbershop and high school locker room for his comedy and singing skills. He grew up on gospel music and practiced singing and dancing by mimicking his favorite musician, Michael Jackson. He is also known for his spot-on impressions of famous figures like Barack Obama, Eddie Murphy, Kevin Hart and Peter Griffin from Family Guy. Now, thousands of people tune in to watch him on MTV’s irreverent sketch comedy and improv series Wild ‘n Out with Nick Cannon. Bell has also released several mixtapes and shared the stage with superstars like Rick Ross, Trey Songz, Twista and Chris Brown.
Take a walk down memory lane with Bell below and check out the music that inspired him in his early years and continues to fuel his passion to entertain the world.
TOP 5 FAVORITE SONGS OF ALL TIME
“Remember the Time,” Michael Jackson
“I have been watching Michael Jackson since I was 3 years of age in my mother’s living room. This is a song that can always be listened to because it’s about reminiscing on a past lover and the love that was shared. I love old memories that bring back good feelings. Michael Jackson is also my all-time favorite artist because of his essence as an entertainer and his messages.”
“Missing You,” Case
“I started listening to Case after hearing this song as a child. This song reminds me of my hometown and Sunday mornings before going to church. It would always play on BET’s countdown… The voice of Case is so unique; it sets a different type of deep mood. It puts me in an isolated place of thought.”
“Just a Friend,” Mario
“Mario was popular as a teenager growing up listening to music. He was cool; how we perceived teenage guys should have been back in the early 2000s. It was a time when buying a CD was cool. I remember pulling up to the basketball court where all my friends were and playing this song and everybody going crazy… The song is about a girl who always wants to play the dude off as just a friend and he’s the guy who actually is interested in her the most. Girls always push the guy who’s really interested to the side. It will forever annoy me. That’s why this song can be played anytime and I enjoy it.”
“Smooth Criminal,” Michael Jackson
“All-time classic, and the music video and vision of this song was so dope. I would dress like this for Halloween when growing up, multiple years (ha, ha).”
“Shawty,” Plies featuring T-Pain
“Brings back memories of field trips and after-school events in middle school and high school. I would always have this song on my playlist!”
PREFERRED WAY OF LISTENING
“I love listening to music via YouTube because there’s most likely always a visual and I love seeing a song as well as hearing it. It brings a song to life.”
DESERT ISLAND ALBUM
Invincible, Michael Jackson
WHAT ARTIST WOULD PROVIDE THE SOUNDTRACK FOR THE MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE?
GO-TO GUILTY PLEASURE TRACK OR CLASSIC KARAOKE TUNE
“No Bullsh*t,” Chris Brown