Karol G Makes Music History with New Album, Mañana Será


Photo Courtesy of New York Times

Karol G recently released her fourth studio album, Mañana Será Bonito.

Colombian singer and songwriter Karol G recently found herself topping U.S. music charts.

According to Luminate and Billboard, Mañana Será Bonito racked up a whopping 94,000 album-equivalent units in the U.S. alone, as of March 10. Thanks mostly to streaming, the album claimed the number-one spot on the Billboard 200 for the week of March 11, 2023. It is the first all-Spanish language album by a female artist to ever reach this peak, as well as the first by a Colombian artist.

Previously, Bad Bunny had been the only artist to clinch a number one spot with the all-Spanish albums El Último Tour Del Mundo in 2020 and Un Verano Sin Ti in 2022.

“It is a very unusual feat,” Director of Musical Studies and Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Administrative Coordinator Kathryn Metz said.

“Even in English, a whole album that’s cohesive and goes to the top of the charts is not a thing people do easily. It is such a rare combination, even more so with a Spanish [language] female artist.”

Mañana Será Bonito is the perfect case of the right place and right time. The only other artist to achieve a similar phenomenon is Selena Quintanilla Peréz, often referred to just as Selena, at the height of her career in the mid- 1990s. Factors like globalization and Latinx people being the largest minority population in the U.S. have combined to create Billboard history.

A few of Karol G’s tracks, including Bonito travel across various genres including her usual reggaetón and urban Latin, regional Mexican music, ballads, and R&B. Metz attributed the number one spot to the extensive coverage of genres, an overall cohesive message of women’s empowerment, and straight to the point songs. Karol G has mastered many genres and has her number-one spot to show it. Since its creation, reggaetón has been an extremely male-dominated genre. However, in recent years, Karol G has established a female voice in reggaetón. Her tracks often promote women’s empowerment through anthems focused on “girl power,” in contrast to the female objectification common in the genre.

“It’s good there aren’t just male artists carrying the reggaetón genre to a new audience,” College first-year Kimberly Rodriguez Arroyo said. “I thin it’s paving the way for female artists; it could even help the genre become more mainstream globally.” Arroyo is from Puerto Rico, where reggaetón was first popularized and is an avid reggaetón listener. With Mañana Será Bonito, Karol is promoting a new form of reggaetón worldwide to audiences unfamiliar with the genre.

“The new phenomenon is that artists like Karol G and Bad Bunny do not have to switch to English or translate their songs in order to capture audience attention in the United States,” Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón said.

Earlier Spanish language artists, like Shakira and Selena, had to translate songs to an extent in order to even make a dent in U.S. charts. However, Latin music has become so popular that people are listening even without understanding the lyrics. This effect began with the huge hit “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee. Consumers are open to picking up some of the language, many singing along in broken Spanish or just translating the lyrics themselves. Audiences will continue to expand in the U.S. beyond just Latinx populations.

“The Latinx consumers in the United States are eager to see their music being represented, so we will continue to see these number ones, we will continue to see Karol G and Bad Bunny headline huge festivals like Coachella,” Negrón said.