Karol G. joined Billboard and Rockstar Energy Drink for an exclusive virtual performance at this year’s Summer Spotlight concert series, where she dazzled a global audience with some of her biggest tracks. The Colombian star and eight-time finalist at the 2021 Billboard Latin Music Awards headlined the first of two Rockstar Energy Drink Summer Spotlight concerts, and the only place to watch them was on Billboard.
Karol mixed goth and glam onstage, her all-black, leather outfit crisscrossed with glittering silver chains and capped off with a dazzling pair of crystal-studded sunglasses. The look was pure rock star and provided the perfect aesthetic pairing to the performance’s opening sequence, where Karol’s all-female band showed off their chops and provided a rocking intro to the more stripped-down concert, a rarity for the superstar.
Following the intro, Karol launched right into her global hit “Bichota,” a track showing her ability to seamlessly blend traditional Latin rhythms with contemporary pop. Karol’s performance allowed her to perform some of her favorite tracks from her chart-topping third album, KG0516, for a global community of fans. (The record’s title sounds like something you’d find on an airport departure screen — an appropriate homage since the “0516” marks the day Karol hustled her way to her first record deal on May 16th, 2006.) The album, released in March, also features collaborations with Mariah Angeliq, Camilo, and Ozuna.
Following “Bichota,” Karol welcomed her virtual fans, encouraging everyone watching to have fun no matter where they were. She then launched right into her ballad “Ay, DiOs Mío!” showing off her vocal and stylistic range. The third song in her set was “El Barco,” a track that Karol G. said has special meaning to her as it was the first song from the album that she sang on television. It’s a song that builds its sonic layers slowly and deliberately, starting with a finger-plucked guitar before adding synths, handclaps before it all comes together with a driving drum beat. It again shows off Karol’s incredible, eclectic library of influences and the inimitable way she’s able to weave them together into something completely new.
The closing track from Karol G.’s Summer Spotlight Concert was “DVD,” an unhurried, gorgeous reggaeton track that is summer distilled. As the concert drew to a close, the Colombian star left the stage with a dazzling smile that was only matched by her remarkable set.
Karol G is set to speak at Billboard Latin Music Week, which returns to Miami from Sept. 20-25. Also, be sure to check out the second Rockstar Energy Summer Spotlight concert featuring the “Roses” hitmaker, SAINt JHN.
Ay, DiOs Mío!