Source Photos (L-R): Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Spotify; John Parra/Getty Images; John Parra/Telemundo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images; Gladys Vega/Getty Images
5 Women Essential To Reggaeton: Ivy Queen, Natti Natasha, Karol G, Ms Nina & Mariah Angeliq
In honor of Women’s History Month, GRAMMY.com spotlights the female artists who have helped shape reggaeton, while contributing to its unstoppable force
Historically, reggaeton has been somewhat of a boy’s club — much like the music industry as a whole, for that matter. Women in reggaeton have been a rare breed, particularly when the genre emerged, and it’s only been in the last decade that more female visibility is forming across global Latinx communities.
A female presence in reggaeton should be the norm, though, considering that the genre is bidding for global dominance. "¿Y dónde están las mujeres?," so yells the DJ in basically every single Latin party — yet as "Despacito" became the most watched music video in 2020 and Bad Bunny broke a 64-year-old record on the Billboard 200, reggaeton presented as male-dominated.
Pero las mujeres están aquí: Panamanian songwriter Erika Ender co-authored "Despacito"; Natti Natasha and Becky G slid their way into the billion views club; and Karol G became the first female reggaeton artist to perform at Colombia's historic Estadio Atanasio Girardot. Before such feats were possible, women had to fight their way through.
In the ‘90s, male Puerto Rican DJs created "old school" reggaeton — a robust concoction of Jamaican dancehall, Panamanian reggae en Español and New York Latin rap. The hard-hitting tropical sound was styled for the clubs and, more often than not, accompanied by crass and misogynist lyrics, and collectives like the Noise and DJ Playero delivered mixtapes by the plenty.
Ivy Queen, freshly returning from New York to her native Island, became the first lady of reggaeton, bringing her provocative rap game from abroad. At the turn of the decade, La Sista contributed her invigorating bars to the genre, providing a much needed feminine balance to the scene. A few years later, Puerto Rico-New York twins Nina Sky featured in "Oye Mi Canto," a timeless banger alongside Daddy Yankee and N.O.R.E.. But it would still take a resurgence for more women to represent and be represented.
Fast forward to reggaeton’s second coming of the ‘10s where the genre spread like wildfire in Miami, Colombia, Los Angeles, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and beyond. While male domination seems inescapable in some places, a formidable slew of females boldly stepped into the forefront and would prove their lasting power: Karol G, Becky G, and Natti Natasha. Then, more established singers came into the fore: Anitta from Brazil, Cazzu from Argentina, and Farina in Colombia, as well as rising new talent like Miami-based Boriqua RaiNao. And then there are the dames of neoperreo who formulated their own digitized iteration of the style: DJ Rosa Pistola, Tomasa Del Real, and La Goony Chonga.
By no means is this a comprehensive list, but a starting point to get to know five essential women of reggaeton, who cover sonic ground from various corners of pop culture.
Ivy Queen: The pioneering reggaeton rapper helped put the Caribbean-rooted genre on the global map
The O.G. La Caballota. Ivy Queen is the undisputable queen of reggaeton. As the first lady to join the ranks of the legendary collective the Noise, the singer/rapper instantly impressed the room when she stepped into genre-pioneer DJ Negro’s marquesina in the mid ‘90s and began to ferociously spit what would be her first hit song, "Muchos Quieren Tumbarme."
Alluding to a boxing ring, her power-charged lyrics of female empowerment shone startlingly bright.She unappologetically provided a feminist balance to reggaeton’s hedonistic counterpart. By the turn of the new millennium, she took the genre global with dancefloor anthem "Quiero Bailar" — a flirtatious but dignified track about never confusing perreo with a possible one night stand.
"When I entered the urbano genre to sing reggaeton, there were many lyrics similar to the ones we hear now [in trap] because they denigrated women too much. So the first thing that came out of my mouth was to give respect to the ladies. That was a blessing," she told Rolling Stone.
Decades later, Her Royal Reggaeton Highness still lives up to her name, as testified in 2019’s Llego La Queen, where her linguistic prowess continues to outshine plenty of genre peers. Ivy Queen continued in Rolling Stone, "I always followed lyrical content. I am content. I don’t want to be just a cover that people see on the outside. I want women to feel identified when they listen to me."
Natti Natasha: Reggaeton gets the Dominican treatment
Natti Natasha first broke the internet when she appeared as a love bandit in 2017’s "Criminal" alongside superstar Ozuna for a sizzling duet; its captivating music video has gone on to reach over 2.3 billion viewers. A year later, the Dominican provocateur passed the billion-streaming mark, this time with another female reggaeton powerhouse in tow, Becky G, in the salacious single "Sin Pijamas."
"This type of message is usually given by men," the singer told Deezer about the aforementioned song. "I feel that it was a moment where women felt no shame, in a good way, to say what men usually say."
Claiming influences from Lauryn Hill and Ivy Queen, Natti Natasha is armed with an irresistible smoky flow, and a voice that can turn fiery in an instant. She has become one of the world’s most-watched female artists on YouTube, and the rest is herstory. The singer recently stepped into Dominican dembow, reggaeton’s more hyperactive cousin, with fellow stars El Alfa and Chimbala, for a frisky tropical fête.
Karol G: A Colombian superstar praised as the new queen of Reggaeton
Karol G (née Carolina Giraldo Navarro) is perhaps the most successful female artist to rise from reggaeton’s resurgence. Billboard heralded her as "the Next Latina Queen," her millions of fans praise her as the new queen of reggaeton, and a Univision documentary named her "the warrior of the genre."
Just as Ivy Queen shattered misogynistic boundaries in the ‘90s and aughts within reggaeton, Karol G also stood high as a female powerhouse in a heavily male-dominated space at the start of reggaeton’s second wave. Owning her sexuality over mesmerizing, sensuous vocals, the Colombian artist is an unstoppable hitmaker, releasing timeless songs from the slinky, suggestive "Mi Cama" to the boss-b<em></em><em></em> anthem "Bichota," and the GRAMMY-nominated, violin-laden "Tusa," starring Nicki Minaj.
In 2018, the Medellín singer earned the coveted Best New Artist award at the Latin GRAMMYs. Last year, she dropped a 11x Platinum album, KG0516, which peaked at No. 1 on the US Top Latin Albums charts. "I always wanted to be the biggest in Latin America, and I thought that was the biggest I could get," she told Billboard. "But ‘Tusa’ shook me up. It came to tell me, ‘You’re ready for the world, not just Latin America.'"
Mariah Angeliq: Rising reggaeton star brings her deliciously 'toxic' Miami swagger to the game
With her insouciant vocal delivery, no short of sensuous, Mariah Angeliq is a rising star to watch in the ever-expanding música urbana scene. Proclaimed as La Princesa de Miami, the 22-year-old Cuban-Puerto Rican singer, made her big entrance next to Karol G in last year’s chart-topping smash hit "El Makinon," which earned the fiery duet a No. 1 slot on Latin Airplay.
Angeliq has performed alongside J Quiles, Luísa Sonza and Ludmilla, to name a few, but shows that she can also shine on her own in her latest bad grrl banger, "La Tóxica." With a 2020 EP out Normal, and a slew of sultry singles, the proud 305 artist is currently working on her full-length debut.
Ms Nina: The madam of neoperreo reps bold, sex-positive rap bars
A freakier spin-off to the Caribbean club genre, neoperreo is reggeaton’s digitized, weird cousin. Emerging from the underground of Latinx parties from around the world — with key members making noise in Chile (Tomasa del Real, a.k.a. La Reina del Neoperreo), Spain (Ms Nina) and Miami (La Goony Chonga) — this community of sex positive mostly-female rappers is a defiant presence against the misogynistic wordplay of various male reggaetoneros.
Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Ms Nina, née Jorgelina Andrea, built her music project in Madrid and has been making the rounds as one of the most provocative players of the scene. In 2019, she dropped Perrando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro via Mad Decent and continues to release riveting singles across streaming platforms.
"It’s good to see more women making music now," Ms Nina told Indie Mag. "There’s a growing scene for women in Spain that are making music. They’re doing it really well which inspires more women to be active in making music, because normally they say reggaeton is very machista, and when a woman says equal things she is considered a slut. That’s why I’m trying to create equality for both. Women should feel comfortable being sexy when being out and partying."
Courtesy of Mad Decent
Watch Ms. Nina's NeoPerreo Video For "Te Doy" Ahead Of Her Mixtape Release
'Perreando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro,' or "dancing on the outside, crying on the inside," is out July 3 and includes collaborations with some of neoperreo's most recognizable names
Neoperreo queen Ms. Nina is on the cusp of dropping her Perreando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro debut mixtape. Now, she's giving us a taste of what's to come through her latest concurrent single and video release.
"Te Doy," produced by El Licenciado, Latin GRAMMY nominee and former member of GRAMMY-winning Mexican band Kinky, is a hip-shaking reggaeton-influenced track that mixes a bit of the humor Ms. Nina has come to be known for with empowering, pro-consent lyrics.
"I give you this a with love." she says in one verse, while in another she proclaims, "I''ll dance with you, but no, I'm not your woman."
Perreando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro, or "dancing on the outside, crying on the inside," is out July 3 and includes collaborations with some of neoperreo's (a new, underground take on reggaeton named after its style of dancing), most recognizable names: La Favi, Maria OT, Mygal X and more. "Te Doy" follows "Y Dime," the singer's single featuring Tomasa Del Real.
The singer will have U.S. stops on her upcoming tour, including a performance at MoMa PS1 Warm Up with Bad Gyal on July 13, San Diego, Calif., on Aug. 28, Los Angeles on Aug. 29, Tucson, Ariz., on Aug. 30, San Francisco on Aug. 31 and San Jose, Calif., on Sept. 1.
Beyoncé To Alison Krauss: 9 Times Women Made GRAMMY History
Celebrate Women's History month with Ella Fitzgerald's firsts, Alison Krauss and Beyoncé's mosts, and more history-making women at the GRAMMYs
Updated May 5, 2021.
To highlight Women's History Month this March, we dug into our archives all the way back to the GRAMMY Awards' beginnings in 1958 to acknowledge the women who have made GRAMMY — and music — history. From the first women to ever win a GRAMMY to the top GRAMMY-winning woman, first female GRAMMY performers and the first female GRAMMY host, take a look at nine examples of how women blazed trails through the lens of the GRAMMYs.
Ella Fitzgerald: The first woman to win multiple GRAMMYs
The 1st GRAMMY Awards took place in 1958, and women were among the first crop of recipients. The first female multiple GRAMMY winner was jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, who took home two statues: Best Vocal Performance, Female and Best Jazz Performance, Individual. The roster of first-time female GRAMMY winners also included Keely Smith, Salli Terry, Barbara Cook, Pert Kelton, Helen Raymond, and Renata Tebaldi.
Who were the first women to win GRAMMYs in the General Field?
The General Field categories — Record, Song and Album Of The Year and Best New Artist — are among some of the most coveted awards in music. Astrud Gilberto became the first woman to win Record Of The Year when she won with Stan Getz for "The Girl From Ipanema" for 1964. The first Song Of The Year female win went to Carole King for "You've Got A Friend" for 1971. The first female Best New Artist was country singer/songwriter Bobbie Gentry. And the first female winner for Album Of The Year went to Judy Garland for 1961 for Judy At Carnegie Hall.
Carole King: The first woman to win multiple General Field GRAMMYs
The first woman to win multiple GRAMMYs in the General Field was King, when she swept Record ("It's Too Late"), Album (Tapestry) and Song Of The Year ("You've Got A Friend") for 1971. The first women to win multiple GRAMMYs in the same General Field categories include Roberta Flack, who took Record Of The Year for 1972 and 1973, for "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "Killing Me Softly With His Song," respectively. Lauryn Hill, Norah Jones and Alison Krauss have each won Album Of The Year twice, but only once in each case for their own recordings. Taylor Swift won Album Of The Year twice for 2009 and 2015, the first woman to do so as a solo artist. At the 59th GRAMMYs, Adele became the second solo female artist to win Album Of The Year twice. Additionally, she became the first artist in GRAMMY history to sweep Record, Song and Album Of The Year twice in her career, after doing so for 2011 and again for 2016.
Beyoncé: The woman with the most GRAMMY wins
At the 63rd GRAMMY Awards in 2021, Beyoncé became the performing artist with the most career GRAMMY wins ever (28) as well as the most nominated woman artist (79). (Quincy Jones also has 28 GRAMMY wins, yet primarily as a producer/composer).
Ella Fitzgerald, Wanda Jackson: The first women to perform on the GRAMMYs
The first televised GRAMMY event, a taped "NBC Sunday Showcase," in honor of the 2nd GRAMMY Awards, aired Nov. 29, 1959. It was Fitzgerald's performance on this broadcast that earned her the distinction of being the first woman to take the GRAMMY stage. When the GRAMMYs transitioned to a live television broadcast format for the 13th GRAMMY Awards in 1971, the first solo female performer was country singer Wanda Jackson singing "Wonder Could I Live There Anymore."
Bonnie Raitt: The most GRAMMY performances
Singer/songwriter Bonnie Raitt is the woman who has performed the most at the GRAMMYs. From her first solo performance of "Thing Called Love" at the 32nd GRAMMY Awards in 1990 through her latest performance in honor of B.B. King with Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark Jr. at the 58th GRAMMY Awards, Raitt has graced the stage nine times. In a tie for a close second are Franklin and Whitney Houston, who each notched eight career GRAMMY performances.
Whoopi Goldberg: The first female GRAMMY host
Whoopi Goldberg served as the GRAMMYs' first female host at the 34th GRAMMY Awards in 1992. An EGOT (Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar, and Tony) winner, the comedian already had an impressive array of credentials when she helmed the GRAMMY stage. Not one to shy away from pushing the envelope, she delivered arguably one of the raunchiest jokes in GRAMMY history when referencing the show's accounting firm: "I must tell you, Deloitte & Touche are two things I do nightly."
And the first female Special Merit Awards recipients were?
The inaugural Recording Academy Special Merit Award was given in 1963 to Bing Crosby, but it wasn't long until women made their mark. Fitzgerald was the first woman to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1967. The first woman to receive a Trustees Award was Christine M. Farnon in 1992, who served as The Recording Academy's National Executive Director for more than 20 years. Liza Minnelli became the first female artist to receive a GRAMMY Legend Award in 1990.
The first recordings by women to be inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame
Established in 1973 by The Academy's Board of Trustees to honor outstanding recordings that were made before the inception of the GRAMMY Awards, the first female recipients were inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1976. Billie Holiday's "God Bless The Child" marked the first solo female recording. Gershwin's Porgy & Bess (Opera Version), featuring Camilla Williams, and the original Broadway cast version of "Oklahoma!," featuring Joan Roberts, were inducted into the Hall that same year.
Source Photos: Jim McHugh © 1994, Gladys Vega/ Getty Images, Marco Ovando, Jean Paul Aussenard/Wireimage.com, Flo Ngala
Listen to GRAMMY.com's Hispanic Heritage Month 2022 Playlist: Featuring Latin Music Hits & Classics From Anitta, Selena, Bad Bunny, Shakira & More
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, GRAMMY.com highlights the riveting, celebratory sounds of Latin music in a genre- and era-spanning playlist featuring iconic songs from Jennifer Lopez, Karol G, Maná, Marco Antonio Solís, and many more.
Latin music isn't a genre — it's a culture. And 80 years of thriving Ibero-American sounds spanning across the Americas, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal are evidence of its ever-growing prominence. That's reflected in our 61-track playlist celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month 2022.
Unbeknownst to nearly no one, Latin music, in both the Hispanophone and Lusophone styles, exploded onto the global mainstream in the last five years. When Luis Fonsi's and Daddy Yankee's GRAMMY-nominated global hit "Despacito" broke the internet, the sound crossed into international borders — and markets — like never before. Today, Bad Bunny is one of the biggest stars on the planet, with his glorious, record-breaking, chart-topping, and hit-making streak still going strong.
Yet formidable contributions Stateside have continued since the golden age of boleros: New York's Mexican/Puerto Rican trio Los Panchos pioneered the romantic, nylon-driven ballad style in the '40s. In 1958, 17-year-old Ritchie Valens turned a son jarocho song into a rockabilly classic ("La Bamba"); Carlos Santana has played a key role in the evolution of Latin rock since Woodstock in the late-'60s; New York Latin troupe Fania All-Stars globalized salsa and Caribbean-rooted rhythms in the late '60s. Lest anyone forget Tejano icon Selena and her techno cumbia or the so-called "Latin explosion," led by Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Shakira, and Marc Anthony, both in the '90s.
Although reggaeton and música urbana superstars like Bad Bunny, J Balvin and Karol G continue to reign almighty on the global Latin pop scene, there is a growing number of promising, diverse voices within the Latin music soundscape bubbling up today. Honduran-born SoundCloud creator Isabella Lovestory is spearheading a provocative neo-reggaeton style of her own; Colombia's Ela Minus is giving her defiant electronic sound an exciting darkwave edge; and Mexican viral rapper Santa Fe Klan is resurrecting cumbia sonidera within the rap en español circuit.
Crowd at Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival 2019
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella
Breaking Down The Coachella 2022 Lineup: Headliners Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Ye Are Just The Beginning Of An Epic, Long-Awaited Return
GRAMMY.com digs deep into the 23 rows of the Coachella 2022 lineup — featuring Swedish House Mafia, Doja Cat, Anitta, Pabllo Vittar, Phoebe Bridgers and many more — to highlight major trends across the star-studded roster
After two long years off, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is finally set to return at the Empire Polo Club on April 15-17 and 22-24.
Goldenvoice, the producers of the festival, announced the long-awaited lineup for Coachella’s 2022 installment on Jan. 12, and there’s plenty for festgoers to be excited about.
GRAMMY-winning pop hero Billie Eilish returns, moving from the second lineup row in 2019 to the coveted top billing, becoming the youngest-ever Coachella headliner at 20. Fellow GRAMMY winners Harry Styles, Ye (the artist formerly known as Kanye West) and GRAMMY-nominated EDM supergroup Swedish House Mafia share headliner status, closing out each night of the desert extravaganza with pop, rap, dance, plenty of fanfare, and surprise guests.
Doja Cat, Big Sean, 21 Savage, Disclosure, Karol G, Anitta and Banda MS are just a handful of the other heavy hitters on the bill, which covers just about every corner of music (even The Nightmare Before Christmas composer Danny Elfman will make an appearance).
The Coachella lineup announcement is always a major moment in the industry, as it unofficially marks the beginning of festival season. Its roster traditionally includes a mix of music’s hottest hitmakers and promising rising stars, making for a real-time reflection of what's happening now and next.
What goes down at Coachella is even more monumental, setting music, festival and fashion trends for the year ahead. Performers use the Coachella stage as a testing ground to try new elements of their live show, debut unreleased songs, reunite with collaborators, and deliver plenty more headline-worthy moments (who could forget when Billie first met Justin Bieber?).
Beyond the buzz of the biggest names, there's countless noteworthy acts on the 2022 Coachella lineup. Read on for six major takeaways from this year's stellar offering.
Rap & R&B Continue Their Reign
Hip-hop and R&B led the (ultimately canceled) 2020 lineup, with some of those artists making their way to 2022. Not only does Ye return to close out both weekends of the fest (he did a special Sunday Service set on Easter in 2019), the lineup is a treasure trove of rap talent.
Women represent, with Megan Thee Stallion, City Girls, Doja Cat, Sampa the Great and Princess Nokia all ready to throw down bars and vibes. Vince Staples, Big Sean, Lil Baby, Denzel Curry, J.I.D, Run the Jewels, Isaiah Rashad, BROCKHAMPTON, Cordae and 2022 Best New Artist nominee Baby Keem also represent a solid selection of rappers continuing to shake up the game.
As for R&B, showcasing some of the sweetest sounds coming out of the current alt-R&B wave, Amber Marks, Ari Lennox, Snoh Aalegra, Steve Lacy, Daniel Caesar, Emotional Oranges and Pink Sweat$ are sure to make listeners swoon.
Read More: 2021 In Review: 8 Trends That Defined Rap
Latin Representation Expands Beyond The Superstars
As Rolling Stone writer Tomás Mier noted, this might be "the most Latino lineup in Coachella history."
It offers an exciting sample of the breadth of Latin music, with Mexican regional bands Grupo Firme and Banda MS, from Tijuana and Mazatlán, respectively, receiving prime billing in the second tier. Other Latin music acts include Brazilian popstars Anitta and Pabllo Vittar, Colombian reggaetonera Karol G, Argentine rappers Nathy Peluso and Nicki Nicole, Mexican corrido trap artist Natanael Cano and Mexican alt-folk singer/songwriter Ed Maverick.
Mexican-American alt genre benders Cuco and Omar Apollo, both of whom sing in Spanish and English and serve up an infectious blend of influences and styles with pop and rock, will make their Coachella debuts.
The Roster Spans The Globe
In addition to the rich Latin music offerings from Mexico, South America and the U.S., Coachella attendees can also hear an eclectic mix of sounds from the rest of the globe.
You'll be able to get lost in the funky Turkish psych-rock of Altin Gün; the energetic, bright and super kawaii J-pop of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu; the hair metal rock of Italian band Måneskin; and the sublime French nu-disco of L'Impératrice. South African house music legend Black Coffee and rising Benin-born, Brooklyn-based DJ/producer AMÉMÉ will each command the dance floor with their sublime, sultry African-infused beats.
The Desert Rave Happens Day And Night
Dance music has never been lost on Coachella, as the fest's legendary Yuma Tent — an enclosed (and air-conditioned!) disco ball-glittered and laser-streaked stage — brings the underground dance club energy to the middle of the desert. And with this year’s roster of dance and electronic acts, it’ll clearly be bumping all weekend.
Beloved EDM trio Swedish House Mafia return to the fest 10 years after their first headline set there, since breaking up in 2013 and reuniting in 2018. Major dance acts Fatboy Slim, Jamie XX, Flume and Disclosure will also get the dance party going.
As with rap, women are also holding it down in the dance category, with TOKiMONSTA, Ela Minus, Jayda G, Logic1000, ANNA, Sama' Abdulhadi, DJ Holographic, Honey Dijon and The Blessed Madonna, the latter two whom are billed together, ready to serve up house, techno and beyond. Black Coffee, Channel Tres, The Avalanches, DJ Koze, Hot Chip, Dixon, Caribou — who's also performing as his DJ alias Daphne, ARTBAT, Damian Lazarus, Richie Hawtin, Tchami, Madeon, Purple Disco Machine and more round out the dance acts.
Alternative Acts Are Aplenty
Sunshine plus alt and indie acts always make for a perfect festival mood. While Coachella has served up a larger rock menu in the past, there are plenty of indie rock and alternative genre blenders to see this year, including Phoebe Bridgers, Maggie Rogers, Japanese Breakfast, Omar Apollo, Caroline Polacheck, girl in red, Nilüfer Yanya, and the Wallows.
Amyl and the Sniffers and IDLES will serve up some punk energy, while the always-masked crooner Orville Peck will deliver his artsy, queer brand of country. Ed Maverick, The Marías and Chicano Batman represent Latinx artists making beautiful music across the alternative spectrum from their life experiences.
Pop Doesn’t Stop At The Headliners
Harry Styles and Billie Eilish will wear the crowns this year, but beyond their mega-glow, there's plenty of alt-pop acts we can't wait to see. Billie's big brother FINNEAS will make his solo debut at the fest, and Conan Gray, Cuco, Alec Benjamin, Joji, Still Woozy, and hyperpop boundary-pushers 100 gecs will also keep things poppy.
Yet again, women are well-represented on the lineup in the ever-evolving pop genre. Carly Rae Jepsen, Kim Petras, Beabadoobee, Arlo Parks, Bishop Briggs, Japan-born, London based art-pop queen Rina Sawayama and Indonesian 88-rising act NIKKI bring so much to the art form and will bring that energy to Coachella 2022.
For the full Coachella 2022 lineup, visit coachella.com, where you can also join the weekend one waitlist and register for the upcoming weekend 2 presale (taking place this Friday, Jan. 14).