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The Colombian singer-songwriter KAROL G has kicked doors open for women in reggaetón and Latin trap—without breaking a single perfectly manicured nail. Born Carolina Giraldo Navarro in Medellín in 1991, she was obsessed with music from age 5, following in the footsteps of her musician father. She released her first single at 16 and went on to study music at the University of Antioquia. But despite a turn on El Factor X in 2010 and numerous backing gigs, she couldn’t seem to move beyond supporting roles—doors slammed whenever she, as a woman, tried to get ahead in the male-dominated world of reggaetón. Frustrated, she moved to New York City to study English, but she couldn’t bury her musical ambitions. While there, she resolved to become both an artist and a savvy businesswoman. She returned to Medellín, singing covers and sharing them online while seeking new opportunities. Her renewed focus paid off: She signed to Universal Latino in 2016. Her 2017 collaboration with Bad Bunny, “Ahora Me Llama,” blew up, setting the stage for the Latin trap masterpiece Unstoppable, an album that established her as both an excellent singer and a rapper with a cool and collected flow that calls to mind greats like Spain’s Mala Rodríguez. Collaborations with Nicki Minaj and Quavo ensued, and 2019’s follow-up, Ocean, saw KAROL G branching out with next-level trap, sinuous dance music, and persuasive ballads, cementing her as one of Latin music’s most versatile and talented artists. She only continued to prove her staying power and cross-cultural appeal in the years to come, collaborating with Ludacris on 2021's KG0516 and FINNEAS and Shakira on 2023's MAÑANA SERÁ BONITO.

Medellin, Colombia
February 14, 1991
Urbano latino
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