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Karol G Honored as 2024 Woman of the Year at Billboard’s Latin Women in Music Event

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Karol G ended 2023 on the highest possible note: She became the first woman (and second artist ever) to top the Billboard 200 with an all-Spanish-language album (Mañana Será Bonito, the year’s fifth-most-streamed album on Spotify); the top female Latin artist on Billboard’s year-end charts (behind only Bad Bunny and Peso Pluma); and the winner of both urban album and album of the year at the Latin Grammy Awards in November — the first woman to win urban album of the year. 

As a touring artist, she sold a staggering 925,000 tickets and grossed $155.3 million, making her the 11th-highest-grossing touring act of 2023, among all genres, according to Billboard Boxscore. 

Then came the encore. 

During the first six months of 2024, Karol G was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year, her Mañana Será Bonito tour has grossed over $100 million and sold nearly 1 million tickets throughout Latin America — and on June 8, she will be recognized as Billboard’s Latin Woman of the Year at the Billboard Latin Women In Music gala taking place on the same date as the kickoff to her European arena tour. 

One could think that the numbers alone are the driver behind the award, and yes, they would be enough. But that’s not at the heart of Karol G’s selection. 

When, 18 months ago, the Colombian singer hit the road that took her to over 35 sold-out stadiums, she did so by taking a big risk and a huge leap of faith. She launched her own label, Bichota Records; launched her Con Cora Foundation; and opened offices for her company, Girl Power, in Medellín. She also made a point of inviting up-and-coming artists, mostly women, to perform on her tour. In February, she released a new single, “Contigo,” with Tiësto, an exploration into dance music that reached No. 3 on the Hot Latin Songs chart. 

Through it all, Karol is acutely aware that it doesn’t end here.  

“I feel very thankful and honored to receive this recognition that I accept with great responsibility and commitment,” she tells Billboard. “I thank all the women who have been part of this journey and I celebrate –in the most genuine way—women: their discipline, their commitment, their making this movement something so big, special and inspiring. Remember, we can’t allow anyone to destroy our extraordinary outlook on life and the opportunities it gives us. Nor can anyone else decide our value as a woman, as a person, as a professional. That value is yours to determine; it’s something you work for, it’s something you earn.”  

“No one else can decide our value as a woman, as a person, as a professional. That value is yours to determine; it’s something you work for, it’s something you earn.”  

Karol G

Billboard has spoken with Karol G many times over the past several years, closely documenting her career’s rise. This time, as we honor her as Latin Woman of the Year, we asked others in the industry to speak about her impact. 

ROMEO SANTOS, on having Karol G as a guest on “Obsesión” during Aventura’s 2021 Dodger Stadium show. “Despite Karol’s fame status, she’s down to earth, and her energy is always positive. She has expressed that it was an honor to participate onstage that night, but sincerely she made that occasion an unexpected epic experience for the fans. I’m proud of her success, and her name will go down in history as one of the very few Latin artists that can sell out stadiums. There ain’t too many of us.” 

BECKY G, on working with Karol G on their hit song “MAMII” and its aftermath. “What impacted me most about working with Karol was her willingness to give advice and lend a helping hand. There’s a preconceived notion that success comes overnight, but Karol and I have been hustling in this industry for over 10 years. It’s rare to find someone so open to sharing insights and discussing the obstacles she faced so others don’t have to, helping us continue breaking down barriers … Karol inviting me to perform in both our hometowns will forever be performances held in my heart so dearly. The rumble in the stadiums of Los Angeles and Medellín [Colombia] at our feet reminded me of the power we hold when we come together. Every soundcheck Karol held me by the hand and showed me the ropes, walking me through step by step of what to be prepared for and present for during our performances. Her and her amazing team are like family to me, and I love seeing them win.” 

“What impacted me most about working with Karol was her willingness to give advice and lend a helping hand.”

Becky G

OVY ON THE DRUMS, on producing Karol G and their longstanding friendship. “I’ve had the fortune of being her producer from the very beginning, and being able to connect musically and achieve everything we have, goes beyond music. We’re already family … Her discipline and consistency [continue to impact me]. She’s truly an unstoppable woman. For me, she has a superpower. When we create music together, she already knows what’s going to be her next single. She has an incredible vision when it comes to her project and knows exactly how she’s going to execute it. I think she’s a genius in that sense.” 

“She has an incredible vision when it comes to her project and knows exactly how she’s going to execute it. I think she’s a genius in that sense.” 

Ovy On The Drums

RYAN CASTRO, on collaborating with Karol G on “Una Noche En Medellín (Remix).” “[The track] is a very special song for me because it is a hit that was global and talks about the city where Karol and I grew up. I am very grateful to Karol, because when she took the opportunity to do the remix, she wanted me to participate because of the representation I give to ‘Medallo.’ What strikes me most about working with Karol G is the control she has of the stage and the fans when doing her shows. She is also a very organized person and everything she does has some meaning. [I remember] the first time I sang at her concert at the Medellín stadium. Not only did she invite me to her show, but she also called me onstage to sing my hit ‘Jordan’ with me. It was one of the most memorable moments, because she knew the words to my song.” 

MYRIAM HERNANDEZ, on sharing the stage with Karol G at the Viña del Mar Festival in 2023. “It’s one of the most beautiful experiences I had almost two years ago. It was very relevant and exciting. Two women, different musical genres and united in a single love song. [A] magical moment. Plus, we wanted to fulfill that dream. Karol impresses me because not only does she have this overflowing talent, but she is also very disciplined and doesn’t stop. She has endless energy and I love that she maintains her humility. Seven years ago, she herself sent me a video declaring that one day we would sing together, and it was achieved.” 

BAD GYAL, on recording and performing “Kármika” with Karol G. “Sharing the stage with Karol always makes me feel very comfortable; her team and her always treat me the best. An experience like that could put a lot of pressure on me – like being onstage with one of the biggest artists today – but they make me feel very calm and everything goes very easy. What has surprised me the most is that she’s very humble, she treats everyone so well and she has a very beautiful energy.” 

NATHY PELUSO, on performing and recording with Karol G. She is very generous. She invited me to play in Buenos Aires, which means a lot to me. [It was] the first time we sang ‘Gato Malo,’ which is the song we’ve had together for years. She has a very gigantic show, very beautiful, very spectacular, and I also love her very much as a friend.” 

KALI UCHIS, on filming the video for “Labios Mordidos.” “I was pregnant and showing, but I wasn’t ready to announce my pregnancy. So I had to hide my stomach in the whole video. I was really shy about so many strangers seeing my belly, because I was still keeping that private, and it was making me uncomfortable … Then we did the music video. It was so sweet. Everybody, [Karol] and all the girls on site were so supportive and protective of me [about] any little thing that [could] happen. They were looking out for me. I felt very safe with all of them. It was probably the funnest music video I’ve ever shot because of that.” 

ELENA ROSE, on opening Karol G’s show in Venezuela. “There is a before and after, absolutely. More than for my career, it’s what it meant for my life. I was honored to be there and my heart was full to feel my beautiful country hug me and to feel supported and appreciated by such an amazing woman and artist as is Karol. Karol is a huge inspiration, personally more so for her humanity. She is a giver, a lover and a strong warrior. Our conversations are always meaningful, and the work we do together is very intentional. I admire her so much, and I feel unstoppable when I’m around her. I think that is what women should always do to each other — make each other stronger and more powerful. 

“Karol is a huge inspiration, personally more so for her humanity. She is a giver, a lover and a strong warrior.”

Elena Rose

“The second show in Venezuela was on my birthday. Karol and her team had my backstage room filled with balloons and flowers. She sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me before going onstage with her family and mine. I felt so full and loved. I hugged her mom and told her, ‘Thank you for giving birth and raising this amazing human being.’” 

“I was surprised by her simplicity, her humility, how hardworking she is, the love for her family and her fans. There are many things I identify with her, and I see her as a great role model to follow.” 

Dei V

DEI V, on working with Karol G on “Gatita Gangsta.” “Working with someone like ‘La Bichota’ is something that many artists dream of, and thank God, I had that privilege. Our collaboration changed my life. It marked a before and after in my career, and I will always be grateful to Karol for that. Singing with her onstage was epic. It was the first time that I performed in front of thousands and thousands of people. I was surprised by her simplicity, her humility, how hardworking she is, the love for her family and her fans. There are many things I identify with her, and I see her as a great role model to follow. 

NOAH ASSAD, Karol G’s manager, on her current success. “She was ready to build her own label, her own structure, her own team. She was already betting on herself without getting the gain. I’m very proud of the independence we were able to accomplish, but I’m very proud of how hard she worked during the pandemic, and being an artist that went from the pandemic to theaters to arenas to stadiums, all from 2020 to 2023, that’s just amazing. [Her global success] was overdue. It’s overdue for a woman to lead a genre. A lot of people identify with her in different ways. Being a human in her position is hard to come by. There are very few people that can do a stadium tour. I think people love her because she’s a genuine human being and she inspires people to be better every day.” 

SERVANDO Y FLORENTINO, on singing the hit “De Sol a Sol” with Karol G in Venezuela. “I would describe this moment as Epic and unprecedented. [We admire] her discipline, her disposition, her center, how well-focused she is. She understands the moment she is living in because she also built it herself with a wonderful team, and she does not leave the work that falls to her in the hands of others. She received us with a beautiful disposition; she sang with us, laughed, rehearsed everything, even though she had played a huge show the night before … We love that she returned to her roots and used that as a resource to revisit a song from her childhood and invite us [the creators] to sing it with her. We admire her; we know how hard she has worked with music and for it, and the love and emotion were reciprocal that night.” 

JULIA PERICAS ANTON, Karol G’s choreographer. “At the beginning of the tour, we prepared about 12 new choreographies in which both the dancers and Karol had to participate. We had several weeks of rehearsals and Karol was very clear about the concept with which she wanted to show herself to the public. As the tour has progressed, we have been adding new choreographies, always trying to improve it and raising the level of the production of the show, which is spectacular. 

“I really believe that Karol G is a unique artist, not only because of the natural talent that she has when getting onstage but because of the amount of preparation and work she does every day so that you can see her on that stage as confident as you see her. Working alongside her makes you realize that perfection does not exist, but she is going to be very close to that and she will do whatever it takes.” 

JESSICA GIRALDO, Karol G’s sister and co-manager. “These past 12 months have been a window of transformation and growth for Karol’s musical and professional project. What we’ve achieved is the sum of the efforts of a great team headed by Karol and which I’ve had the opportunity to structure and lead. 2023 and 2024 have been full of successes that contributed to the expansion of the project and have taken it to another level.” 

EDGAR BARRERA, on writing and producing for Karol G. “She is an artist that knows exactly what she wants and isn’t afraid to experiment in the studio with different genres and styles. Working with Karol G is always a pleasure and a delight. She takes care of every detail and is just as passionate about music as I am, so I feel like that makes our time in the studio so much more enjoyable.” 

MIA NYGREN, GM, Latin America, Spotify. “When Karol made history by being the first Latina woman to be chosen as Woman of the Year by Billboard, she invited several women in the industry who had been part of making this a reality to accompany her at the ceremony. I was fortunate and honored to be one of them, and this also coincided with my own nomination, which made the experience very special.”

Billboard’s Latin Women In Music 2024 gala airs Sunday, June 9, on the Telemundo network (8 p.m. ET and can also be streamed on Peacock and the Telemundo app.

Jessica Roiz, Griselda Flores, Ingrid Fajardo, Isabela Raygoza and Sigal Ratner-Arias contributed to this article.

Leila Cobo
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