Karol G and the Latinas Taking Over Music Charts: A Look at Their Rise to Stardom

Latinas are dominating the music scene in 2023 as Karol G and Selena Gomez top Billboard charts, with Tini, Anitta and Ice Spice also rising in popularity.

Karol G and the Latinas Taking Over Music Charts: A Look at Their Rise to Stardom
Alejandra Arevalo
Alejandra Arevalo
March 30, 20234 min read
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It has only been three months since the beginning of 2023, but Latinas are already breaking records and disrupting the global mainstream music scene. Following Shakira’s massive success with her heartbreak single “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” fellow Colombian artist Karol G debuted Mañana Será Bonito which became the first all-Spanish-language album by a female artist to debut #1 on Billboard 200 albums chart. While Karol G has been a popular name in Latin music for years, this album is putting her on track to leave her mark beyond Latin America to the likes of Shakira and Bad Bunny.

Born Carolina Giraldo, the 32-year-old artist broke into the music scene in 2010 with her participation in Colombia’s “The X Factor.” She soon landed collaborations with some of the biggest names in Latin music including Reykon, Nicky Jam, and Bad Bunny. Karol ranked #10 top artist in the world for the first time in March 2022 and a year later, she achieved her highest rank ever, #9.

The Colombian singer currently has 57.7M Spotify monthly listeners and 33.3M Spotify followers, placing her in the top 15 of most listened to and most followed female artists on Spotify. Her follower count has grown significantly in the past year, and percentage-wise, it has been higher than the follower growth of the top 5 most followed female artists: Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Adele, Ariana Grande and Rihanna.

Shakira and Karol G’s latest collaboration, “TQG,” debuted #1 on Billboard Global 200, making it the first time both artists claimed the top spot in the chart. Since its release a month ago, the track has been added to more than 19K Spotify playlists including Today’s Top Hits, Viva Latino and Baila Reggaeton, which have more than 55M followers combined.

Two weeks after its release, Mañana Será Bonito held the #1 spot for the most popular album release in the past 30 days based on Spotify popularity. The top 10 also included an album by another Latina, Cupido by Argentine Latin pop singer Tini. Cupido debuted #8 on the Billboard Latin Pop Album chart, marking Tini’s first entry to any U.S. Billboard albums chart. The Argentine artist has made it to Billboard Global 200 with three tracks from the album: “Mienteme,” “La Loto” and “Cupido.” Tini’s fourth album includes tracks with Latin music powerhouses Anitta, Becky G and Manuel Turizo, and even features Steve Aoki in her track “Muñecas.” “[Cupido represents] the closing of a great stage, of great moments that I lived, and it’s also a new beginning to my career,” Tini told Billboard.

In February 2023, Tini reached over 20M Spotify monthly listeners, a milestone in her career that shows her steady growth toward becoming one of the most important Latinas in the music industry. She is currently the second most popular Argentine artist in the world based on Chartmetric score, only surpassed by producer Bizarrap who went viral this year thanks to a collaboration with Shakira.

February was also an important month for Rio native Anitta, who was nominated for Best New Artist at this year’s Grammys. "It's been half a century. Fifty years that Brazil is not here in a main category. So, for me, we're making history. My whole country is watching in Brazil, waiting for this. I'm really happy. For me, the victory is to be here tonight, to be honest,” the artist told People. Last year, Anitta became the first solo Latin artist to reach #1 on Spotify after her hit “Envolver” obtained 6.39M streams worldwide in a single day. The track has more than 501M Spotify streams and 495M YouTube views, in part thanks to the song’s viral TikTok dance challenge.

U.S. Latinas also started this year strong, with Selena Gomez and Ice Spice ranking in the top 25 most popular artists in the world. On March 21, Gomez's track "Calm Down" with Rema ranked #9 in Billboard Hot 100, which marks her ninth top 10 track in the chart. The Texas native also achieved a new milestone in her career in January, 50M Spotify monthly listeners, and has been growing since then. She has also grown exponentially on Instagram, becoming the most followed woman on the platform with 400M followers.

While Gomez has a long-standing career in entertainment that has been growing steadily, Ice Spice is a newcomer experiencing explosive growth. Ice Spice initially exploded on TikTok after her song “Munch (Feelin’ U)” went viral in the summer of 2022 and was played by Drake on his SiriusXM channel. She has expressed admiration for her fellow Black Latina rapper Cardi B, who actually seems to follow her as well considering that she shared her own verse for “Munch (Feelin’ U) on social media.

Born Isis Gaston, Ice Spice made it to Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in February 2023 thanks to her track “Gangsta Boo” with Lil Tjay. The following month, the rapper of Nigerian and Dominican descent got two new singles on the chart: “In Ha Mood” and “Boy’s a Liar, Pt. 2” with PinkPantheress. Following the viral success of the latter, Ice Spice went from around 6M Spotify monthly listeners at the beginning of February to more than 37M now.

All of these success stories show that Latinas are growing strong in the music industry with no signs of slowing down. Expect to see them claiming more top spots in the music charts and breaking records along the way.