Buenos días to Karol G, and to Karol G only.
The Colombian singer’s album “Mañana Será Bonito” — which translates to “Tomorrow Will Be Pretty” – recently took the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the chart’s first-ever No. 1 album by a woman artist that’s sung entirely in Spanish. Previously, only two all-Spanish albums – both put out by Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny – had topped the world-famous chart.
While Karol G has had a total of six No. 1 hits on the chart, this is her first time topping the Billboard 200 – proving she can go up against artists who perform in English. Only two other (mostly) non-English-language albums by women have reached No. 1 on the chart: Selena’s “Dreaming of You” in 1995, and The Singing Nun’s French-language self-titled album in 1963.
Karol G, born Carolina Giraldo Rivera, told Billboard that while she admired the Spice Girls, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera growing up, she never felt she could achieve this sort of success for one big reason: those artists sang in English. But after watching the 1997 movie “Selena” about the late “Queen of Tejano Music,” she knew that “I want to be a singer, and this is my role model.”
She is now having a full-circle moment, as she became the second woman to hold Nos. 1 and 2 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart in 2022 – after Selena herself, who achieved that particular milestone in 1995.
Karol G released her first single in 2007 at the young age of 16, but struggled for the next decade to establish herself in the male-dominated reggae genre. She began to gain regional recognition after competing on the show “El Factor X,” Colombia’s version of “The X Factor,” and releasing her debut album, “Unstoppable,” in 2017. She won a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist the following year.
Her fame only ballooned from there, and she went on to win more awards and collaborate with popular American artists Becky G and Nicki Minaj. She also collaborated with fellow Colombian performer Shakira on “TQG,” featured on “Mañana Será Bonito.”
Karol G says she created her new hit album with women in mind, telling Billboard she “spent many years working toward a moment where I could demonstrate, where I could elevate – so to speak— the female genre, and represent us in a strong, powerful way.” She continued, “I think this is that moment.”