Before she was rich and famous, Natti Natasha had to survive in New York City with 75 cents in her pocket. Here's how she did it!


Natti Natasha is treating herself to a life of luxury now, but before she was topping the music charts and performing around the world, the Dominican singer struggled a lot financially. In a heart to heart with journalist Tanya Charry of El Gordo y La Flaca (Univision), the star —whose real name is Natali Alexandra Gutierrez Batista— remembered a time when she had to survive in New York City for two days with 75 cents in her pocket!

“I went through things that I never thought I would have to go through. I literally didn't have a place to live. I had 75 cents and I had to eat with that for two days,” she says, adding that she used them to buy two ramen noodle soups to ease her hunger.


Natti left her homeland with the dream of becoming a music star, landing in Manhattan without family to support her. The singer was born in the countryside, in the region of Canabacoa in Santiago de los Caballeros. She traveled back there with Charry on a helicopter to visit her family's home. The video filmed by El Gordo y la Flaca shows her paying a surprise visit to her parents, who welcome her with an affectionate bear hug after months of not seeing the busy performer.

Coffee in hand, her mom remembers when Natti came to her at the age of 15 and told her: “I'm going to be big someday.” She confesses she never imagined her daughter would pursue a career in urban music and become a reggaeton queen.

Natti also takes Charry to her humble childhood home, where she first formed a reggaeton band without her parents' knowledge. “That was my little big secret,” she laughs, seeing TBT photos of her as a teen posing with the rest of “her band” (made up of friends) for a “future CD cover.” Although her parents did not support her musical career because they wanted her to stay in college, the singer traveled on her own to the United States in search of the American Dream.

The documentary's second part, where Natti Natasha talks about being an undocumented immigrant in New York City, will air today at 4 p.m. in El Gordo y la Flaca (Univision).