Karol G

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Karol G
Karol G in 2018
Karol G in 2018
Background information
Birth nameCarolina Giraldo Navarro
Born (1991-02-14) 14 February 1991 (age 29)
Medellín, Colombia
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active2006–present
LabelsUniversal Latin
Associated actsAnuel AA

Carolina Giraldo Navarro (born 14 February 1991),[2] known professionally as Karol G (stylized in all caps), is a Colombian singer and songwriter.[3] She is predominantly described as a reggaeton and Latin trap artist, but has experimented with a variety of other genres including reggae and sertaneja. She is also noted for her prominent female presence in the reggaeton scene. In 2018, she won the Latin Grammy Award for Best New Artist, and has been nominated for several Billboard Latin Music Awards and Premios Lo Nuestro awards.

Born and raised in Medellin, Giraldo launched her career as a teenager, appearing on the Colombian spinoff of The X Factor. She moved to New York City in 2014 to learn more about the music industry and signed to Universal Music Latino. Her collaboration with Puerto Rican singer/rapper Bad Bunny "Ahora Me Llama" became her breakthrough hit, and was the lead single for her debut album Unstoppable, released in 2017. In late 2018, her song "Secreto" became a hit in Latin America as she and Anuel AA publicly confirmed their relationship in the music video.

In July 2019, she released "China" in collaboration with Anuel AA, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, & Ozuna, which became her first music video with over one billion views on YouTube. In May 2019, she released the album Ocean, which served as a stylistic departure Unstoppable, incorporating a more relaxed atmosphere in her work. Her song "Tusa" featuring Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj became an international success and was certified 10x Latin platinum by the RIAA, staying on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart for 25 weeks.


1991-2016: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Carolina Giraldo Navarro was born on February 14, 1991, in Medellin, Colombia, the youngest of three children.[4] At age fourteen, she appeared on the Colombian version of The X Factor.[4] A few years after her performance on the show, she obtained her first record contract with Flamingo Records (Colombia) & Diamond Music (Puerto Rico) and chose "Karol G" as her artistic name. In herfirst year, she opened with Kio Dj "the concert of concerts" with Don Omar in the city of Cartagena[5]. she performed with J Balvin at a quinceañera party.[4] In the following years, she recorded and released songs sporadically, including "En La Playa" in 2006 and "Dime Que Si" in 2009.[6] She studied music at the University of Antioquia and sang backup for other artists during her studies, including Reykon, recording the song "301" with him in 2012.[4] Shortly after, she traveled to Miami to meet with Universal Records, who declined to sign her, fearing that a woman would not be successful in the reggaeton genre.[7]

In response to Universal Music's decision, she and her father decided to promote her career independently by touring extensively across Colombia at colleges, clubs, and festivals. Karol G recalled, "I always said that if we'd made money per miles, we'd be millionaires. It was a long process... and because of it, I can truly enjoy what's happening now."[7] The increased publicity through these tours led to her 2013 collaboration with Nicky Jam on the song "Amor de Dos".[6] However, finding that her career was not progressing enough, Karol G moved to New York in 2014. Prompted by a subway advertisement, she took music business administration classes, which helped her learn about the industry and motivated her to further her career.[6] Her 2014 dancehall song "Ricos Besos" became a hit in Colombia.[4] In 2016, she signed with Universal Music Latino.[4]

2017-18: Breakthrough success and Unstoppable[edit]

Karol G in October 2018.

In January 2017, Karol G joined the reality talent show Pequeños Gigantes USA as a judge, offering advice to children 6–11 years of ago who perform on the show.[8] In May of that year, her collaboration with Puerto Rican trap artist Bad Bunny on "Ahora Me Llama" became regarded as her breakthrough hit.[7][6][4] The video garnered more than 756 million views on YouTube and reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart.[9] The song was described by Marty Preciado of NPR as a "bass-heavy, unapologetic trap anthem to the power of femininity, soiled in hi-hats and heavy sub-bass [that] challenges hegemonic masculinity, singing about respect, love and sex-positive decisions."[10] According to Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo of Rolling Stone, "it was then that Giraldo joined the increasingly-global pop urbano wave and established herself as one of its most standout acts".[4] "Ahora Me Llama" was listed on "Alt.Latino's Favorites: The Songs Of 2017" as one of the best Latin songs of 2017.[10]

"Ahora Me Llama" served as the lead single for her debut studio album, Unstoppable, which was released in October 2017 and debuted at number two on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart.[11] Thom Jurek of Allmusic called Unstoppable "the first solid entry by a woman in the Latin trap movement".[12] In March 2018, the singer released the jungle-inspired music video for her single "Pineapple".[13] In that same month, she was announced as a finalist for the Billboard Latin Music Awards top female artist of the year.[13] Later in 2018, she released the singles "Culpables", featuring Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA, and "Mi Cama".[6] "Culpables" peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot Latin songs, while the remix of "Mi Cama" featuring J Balvin and Nicky Jam peaked at number six on the same chart.[9]

2019–present: Ocean[edit]

Karol G in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in 2019.

In January 2019, the singer released the single "Secreto" with Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA confirming the romantic relationship between the two artists in the song's accompanying music video.[14] The single reached number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the US Hot Latin Songs charts.[15][16] The song was inspired by the period of time in which Anuel AA and Karol G were dating but had not yet publicly discussed their relationship. The video's "power couple" aesthetic garnered comparisons to Beyoncé and Jay-Z as well as Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.[17] She released the album Ocean on May 3, 2019. The album was inspired by a moment of relaxation she experienced at the beach on the Spanish island of Tenerife, and she traveled to the beaches of the Turks and Caicos Islands and Saint Martin to draw further inspiration for the album.[6] Elias Leight of Rolling Stone reviewed the album by stating, "The power of Ocean is somewhat diminished by the fact that a third of these songs are already out" but opined that "the remaining tracks are impressively varied".[18]

In July 2019, Karol G collaborated with Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Ozuna, and J Balvin on the song "China". The song heavily samples Shaggy's 2000 single, "It Wasn't Me".[19] "China" debuted at number two on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart on the issue dated August 3, 2019, and topped both the Latin Digital Songs and Latin Streaming Songs charts with 1,000 downloads sold and 14.1 million streams.[19] "China" was included on the Rolling Stone list of the 10 Best Latin Music Videos of July.[20] Her collaboration with American rapper Nicki Minaj on the song "Tusa" was certified 10x Latin platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.[21] Karol G premiered the song on American television on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on January 10, 2020.[22] The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart on November 23, 2019 and stayed on the chart for 25 weeks.[9]

In April 2020, Karol G released the single and video for "Follow" with Anuel AA, recording its entirety while in quarantine in Miami due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[23] She also collaborated with the Jonas Brothers on the "flirtatious" song "X" which first appeared in the end credits of the group's documentary film Happiness Continues.[24] Karol G and the Jonas Brothers filmed the song's accompanying music video on their iPhones, using the combined footage as a "clever way to get around the obvious challenge of trying to film a music video during the COVID-19 crisis".[24]

Musical style and image[edit]

Karol G's music has been described as predominantly reggaeton and Latin trap.[4][6][7] However, she has experimented with a variety of other genres in her work. Her album Ocean features a wide range of stylistic experimentation. She collaborated with Brazilian duo Simone & Simaria on the Spanish/Portuguese song "La Vida Continuó", which contains influences from the genre of sertaneja.[6] Karol G cites the global appeal of singers Beyoncé, Selena, and Shakira as major influences in her work and the level of global recognition she hopes to achieve.[4] Karol G has a tattoo of her own face alongside those of Rihanna and Selena on her right forearm.[7] She has been influenced by a wide range of artists for her music, including Thalía, Spice Girls, Jerry Rivera, The Bee Gees, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.[4]

Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo of Rolling Stone describes Karol G's style of dress as "feminine and sexy, yet sporty and tomboyish — but never [cutesy]".[4] Gary Suarez of Vice notes that in her music videos, "she exudes a sex positivity that reflects a powerful diva image front and center, rather than the eye candy tropes often found in urbano visuals."[6] Karol G has a large LGBT following, and the singer expressed admiration for her gay fans by explaining, "I love people who can go out into the world and be fearless...That's something I admire very much from that community. They have a beautiful energy."[25] She declined to record "Sin Pijama", which later became a hit for Becky G and Natti Natasha, because of a lyric about smoking marijuana in the song. Karol G, who does not smoke marijuana, felt that the song did not represent her true lifestyle.[7] For her album Ocean, Karol G moved away from the polished image of the Unstoppable album cover, with the artist explaining, "I did the picture with no makeup, super natural. Because that's the way I want people to listen to my music now."[6]

Personal life[edit]

Karol G met Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA in August 2018 on the set of the music video for their song "Culpables", a month after his release from prison.[26] In January 2019, the couple confirmed their relationship.[17] On April 25, 2019, Karol G arrived at the Billboard Latin Music Awards wearing a diamond wedding ring, confirming the couple's engagement.[26]

Karol G is a vocal advocate for arts and culture from her hometown of Medellín, Colombia. In May 2020, she told travel blog The Faux Traveler, "It’s a beautiful city with so many friendly people and we’re surrounded by mountains and everything else. We have singers, artists and we’re creating great movies, too. If you had to add just one stop to your list, I would have to recommend Llanogrande. It’s a green place with beautiful views and everyone from Medellín usually goes there on the weekends. Llanogrande is a really fun time with family and friends.”[27]

In July 2020, Karol G tested positive for COVID-19.[28]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2017 Heat Latin Music Awards Best Artist Female Herself Nominated [29]
2018 Billboard Latin Music Awards Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Female Nominated [30]
Latin American Music Awards Favorite Artist – Female Nominated [31]
La Musa Awards La Musa Elena Casals Award Won [32]
Latin Grammy Awards Best New Artist Won [33]
Best Urban Song "Mi Cama" Nominated
2019 Heat Latin Music Awards Best Female Artist Herself Won [34]
Best Urban Artist Nominated
Best Video "Pineapple" Won
Telemundo's Tu Musica Urban Awards International Female Artist Herself Nominated [35]
International Artist Song "Mi Cama" Nominated
International Artist Video Nominated
"Créeme" Nominated
Collaboration of the Year "Culpables" Nominated
Premios Lo Nuestro Female Urban Artist of the Year Herself Won [36]
Remix of the Year "Mi Mala (Remix)" Nominated
Video of the Year "Mi Cama (Remix)" Won
Billboard Latin Music Awards New Artist of the Year Herself Nominated [38]
Hot Latin Songs Artist of the Year, Female Nominated
Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Female Nominated
El Premio ASCAP Winning Song "Mi Cama" Won [39]
2020 MTV Video Music Awards Best Collaboration "Tusa" Nominated [40]
Best Latin Nominated
"China" Nominated
Premios Juventud Couple or friends that appear on each other's feeds Anuel AA e Karol G Won
Songs you listen to while stuck in traffic China Won
Best collaboration song Won
Artists that post with their pets Karol G y Anuel AA con Goku Won
Billboard Latin Music Awards Hot Latin Songs Artist of the Year Herself Pending
Female Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year Pending
Airplay Song of the Year China Pending


  1. ^ "Pongan Atención: The Queens Of Latin Urban's Past, Present And Future". The FADER. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  2. ^ "Rising reggaeton star Karol G visits latin nightlife hot spot Embassy". LasVegasWeekly.com. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  3. ^ "Karol G's Acoustic Performance Of 'Casi Nada' Proves She's A Star". UPROXX. 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Caraballo, Ecleen Luzmila (May 13, 2019). "Karol G Is a Reggaeton Superstar — On 'Ocean,' She Transcends the Genre". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  5. ^ the-time (2020-05-22). "KAROL G". the-time. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Suarez, Gary (May 22, 2019). "Karol G Is Bigger Than Reggaetón". Vice. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Jackson, Jhoni (November 11, 2019). "Karol G Is Leading Urbano's New Wave". Paper. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  8. ^ "Karol G Joins 'Pequenos Gigantes USA' as Team Captain: Exclusive". Billboard. January 27, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "Karol G - Hot Latin Songs Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Alt.Latino's Favorites: The Songs Of 2017". National Public Radio. December 21, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  11. ^ "Karol G's 'Unstoppable' Debuts at No. 2 on Top Latin Albums". Billboard. November 8, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  12. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Unstoppable by Karol G - Allmusic Review". Allmusic. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Fernandez, Suzette (March 2, 2018). "Karol G Takes You Into the 'Pineapple' Jungle in New Music Video". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  14. ^ "Anuel AA & Karol G Open Up About Their Steamy Love Life in 'Secreto' Lyric Translation". Billboard. January 18, 2019. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  15. ^ "Anuel AA Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  16. ^ "Anuel AA Chart History (Hot Latin Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  17. ^ a b Leight, Elias (January 24, 2019). "Anuel AA and Karol G's Relationship Wasn't Secret, But 'Secreto' Blew Up Anyway". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  18. ^ Leight, Elias. "Farruko and Karol G Aim for Global Stardom on New Albums". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Bustios, Pamela (July 31, 2019). "'China' Debuts at No. 2 on Hot Latin Songs Chart for Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna & J Balvin". Billboard. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  20. ^ Exposito, Suzy (July 31, 2019). "Play It Again: The 10 Best Latin Music Videos of July". Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  21. ^ Suarez, Gary (February 14, 2020). "Karol G And Nicki Minaj's 'Tusa' Earns RIAA 10x Multi-Platino After Just Three Months". Forbes. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  22. ^ Roiz, Jessica (11 January 2020). "Karol G Made Her Late-Night Debut With Violet 'Tusa' Performance on 'The Tonight Show': Watch". Billboard. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  23. ^ Mahadevan, Tara C. (April 3, 2020). "Anuel AA Reflects On Being Arrested Four Years Ago With New Song "3 De Abril"". Complex. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  24. ^ a b Shaffer, Claire (May 18, 2020). "Jonas Brothers, Karol G Flirt Over iPhones in 'X' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  25. ^ Villa, Lucas (March 31, 2020). "Karol G On The Magic Of "Tusa," Working With Nicki Minaj And New Album". Vibe. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  26. ^ a b Fernandez, Celia (May 2, 2019). "Inside Karol G and Anuel AA's Whirlwind Relationship". Oprah Magazine. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  27. ^ "Karol G Drops a Collab With the Jonas Brothers and Reveals What You Can Expect From Her New Album". The Faux Traveler. 15 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  28. ^ Karol G says she’s feeling well after testing positive for coronavirus
  29. ^ Fernandez, Suzette (June 8, 2017). "J Balvin Wins Big at Heat Latin Music Awards 2017". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  30. ^ "Billboard Latin Music Award Winners 2018: Complete List". Billboard. May 20, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  31. ^ Cobo, Leila (September 18, 2018). "Latin American Music Awards 2018: Ozuna and J Balvin Lead Nominations". Billboard. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  32. ^ Fernandez, Suzette (2 October 2018). "Karol G, Gente de Zona & Descemer Bueno to be Honored at 2018 La Musa Awards". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  33. ^ "Lista completa de los nominados a los premios Latin GRAMMY 2018". Univision (in Spanish). September 28, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  34. ^ Suzette, Fernandez (November 21, 2018). "J Balvin Tops Heat Latin Music Awards Nominations: See Full List". Billboard. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  35. ^ "Tu Música Urban Awards Announce First-Ever Nominees". Billboard. January 15, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  36. ^ Roiz, Jessica (January 8, 2019). "Premio Lo Nuestro 2019 Nominations: Natti Natasha, J Balvin, Bad Bunny Lead Nods". Billboard. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  37. ^ "Lista de ganadores de Premio Lo Nuestro 2019 foto a foto". Univision (in Spanish). February 21, 2019. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  38. ^ Cobo, Leila (February 12, 2019). "Ozuna Leads 2019 Billboard Latin Music Awards Finalists: Complete List of Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  39. ^ "El Premio ASCAP 2019". ASCAP. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  40. ^ "2020 MTV Video Music Awards: See the Complete List of Nominees". E! Online. 2020-07-30. Retrieved 2020-08-06.

External links[edit]