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Karol G
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Karol G

Biography
Musician (1991–)
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Karol G is a Colombian singer, entrepreneur and reggaeton star.

Who Is Karol G?

Karol G is a star of música urbana, which includes reggaeton, Latin trap and Spanish-language hip-hop. Her music also incorporates R&B and pop. Karol initially struggled to succeed as a female performer in the male-dominated world of reggaeton. To help her career take off, she sang backup and traveled extensively to perform at small venues and festivals. Doing this, she met fellow musicians who would become collaborators, such as Ovy on the Drums, who went on to produce much of her music. Karol's albums are: Unstoppable (2017), Ocean (2019) and KG0516 (2021). Her hit songs include "Tusa," "Bichota" and "Mamii"; among her collaborators are J Balvin, Nicki Minaj and the Jonas Brothers. Karol has headlined a tour in North America and was the first female reggaeton star to perform at Colombia's Estadio Atanasio Giradot.

When Was Karol G Born?

Carolina Giraldo Navarro was born in Medellín, Colombia, on February 14, 1991.

Early Life and Education

Karol grew up listening to music that included the Bee Gees, Thalía, Spice Girls and Red Hot Chili Peppers. She performed with her father, Juan Guillermo Giraldo, who worked as a musician.

Karol studied music at the University of Antioquia.

Early Career

In 2021, Karol told the Los Angeles Times, "When I started making music in 2006, there was already a very strong reggaeton movement in Latin America. The music I wanted to make was the music I loved listening to."

As a teenager, Karol appeared on "El Factor X," Colombia's take on "The X-Factor." In 2007, she signed with a Puerto Rican label. Her first single came out that same year. However, she found it difficult to break through as a female reggaeton artist as the genre focused on male stars.

After her father bought out her first contract, Karol met with another label in Miami around 2010. The label appreciated her work but wasn't open to signing her. "They said I could maybe be a songwriter, but a woman making reggaeton? That wouldn't work."

Pursuing a music career also led to Karol receiving unwanted sexual propositions. With her career not advancing as she'd hoped, Karol moved to New York. There, a subway ad inspired her to attend a music business conference in Boston and reignited her commitment to music.

Karol returned to Colombia and recorded her own songs in a home studio. She kept performing wherever she could get a gig.

Success in Music

Karol signed with Universal Music Latino in 2016. Working with Bad Bunny on "Ahora Me Llama" ("Now He Calls Me," 2017) raised her international profile.

Karol's debut album, Unstoppable, arrived in 2017 and reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. Her second album, Ocean, came out in 2019 and also debuted at No. 2 on the Top Latin Albums chart.

Singing about sex is common for male reggaeton artists but more unusual for their female counterparts. Yet Karol embraced her sexuality in hit songs like "Mi Cama" ("My Bed"; 2018) and "Punto G" (2019).

Karol reached another level of success with "Tusa" (2019). The song, made with Nicki Minaj, started at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs—a first for a female-led song since 2016—and reached more than 1 billion views on YouTube.

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Joy Harjo

As the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the world in 2020, Karol worked on her third album, for which she scrapped an almost-done project to create new music that better reflected her.

KG0516 arrived in 2021 and was the first record Karol co-produced. It reached No. 1 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart and No. 20 on the Billboard 200. The album featured collaborations with artists from Ozuna to Ludacris.

Karol had another success with "Bichota" (2020). She explained the song title refers to an "empowered, strong woman."

"Ever since 'Bichota,' I am even more connected to my music," she said in an interview with Billboard. "Now, even if there are other songwriters involved, the direction of the lyrics and style are in my hands because I am at that point in my career where I know what I want to and don’t want to release."

Karol's first English-language song, "Don't Be Shy," arrived in August 2021. She worked with Becky G on “MAMIII" (2022), which reached No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart. Karol's "Provenza" (2022) was another No. 1 hit on that chart.

Karol hasn't forgotten the obstacles she encountered on her way to the top. She included up-and-coming artists, like Mariah Angeliq and Nathy Peluso, on her third album. Karol also hosts an Apple Music show called "Bichota Radio" that features Latina performers.

Awards and Honors

Karol was awarded Best New Artist at the 2018 Latin Grammys. She received a 2020 American Music Award for Favorite Latin Song. At the Latin Grammy Awards in 2021, "Bichota" won Best Reggaeton Performance. Her third album was nominated for a Grammy Award as Best Música Urbana Album.

Karol has been designated one of Spotify's Top 50 Artists Worldwide.

Actress and Businesswoman

In 2021, Karol said, "I'm super focused on becoming an entrepreneur, launching a makeup brand, clothing lines and making my debut on the big screen." She has her own company, Girl Power Inc., and aims to follow the successful careers of Rihanna and Selena Quintanilla. She has their faces tattooed on herself, along with a tattoo of her visage.

Karol partnered with Crocs to bring out two designs. The shoes she worked on quickly sold out.

Karol has a role in the Netflix series "Griselda," which tells the story of real-life Colombian drug dealer Griselda Blanco. Karol plays a mule who transports drugs for Griselda.

Personal Life

Karol connected with Anuel AA, a fellow singer, when the two collaborated on the song "Culpables." The two met in person for the song's music video in 2018. They collaborated on other songs, such as "Secreto" and "Tu No Amas," while embarking on a relationship.

Karol and Anuel's relationship ended in 2021. Even after splitting up, the pair have appeared onstage together.

Karol was known for her aqua blue hair, but changed the color to cherry red in 2022.

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