Despite the unfortunate societal misconception of reggaetón as a “ton of reggae,” the ever-evolving flavorful genre of music elevates dancehall and LatinX culture in a newly energetic fashion. Brought to fruition throughout the late 1990s in Puerto Rico, the recently-added Latin Grammy Awards category fuses Latino-American hip-hop with Caribbean electronic synthesizing. Dominantly sung and rapped in Spanish, the popular music style serves as Miami’s go-to nightlife sound. Increasingly reaching diverse demographics of millennial party scenes throughout the United States, reggaeton creates a sense of community and intimacy within any venue. From Daddy Yankee and Sean Paul to J Balvin and Bad Bunny, reggaetón artists produce many of today’s hottest radio hits. Men, however, are not the only power players. For those looking to spice up their playlists and add fuego fiesta anthems to their living room dance parties, check out these caliente female artists redefining reggaetón:
¡Anitta, Anitta, suave-suave-cita! Scheduled to perform at the highly-anticipated Coachella Valley festival this fall, Brazilian sensation Anitta unarguably remains an artist to watch this year. Boldly singing rapid fire verses against uptempo synthesized percussion, the influential social media mogul and songwriter authentically stays true to her unique style. Incorporating funk carioca influence with dancehall instrumentals, Anitta personifies international music hybridity throughout her four Warner Music studio LPs. Formerly self-conscience about her physical appearance, Anitta champions her sexuality, irrevocably seducing listeners into her sultry universe.
Featured on countless platinum singles, Natti Natasha represents the sultry feminine antidote to any reggaetón track’s missing vocals. Born and raised in Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, the Sony Music Latin / Pina Records artist demonstrates brassy alto vocals against hypnotic beats. Driving the urban latino scene in the last two years, the blossoming songstress effortlessly fuses genres, fearlessly exhibiting her cross-cultural musicianship and relatability. Joining forces with boy-band CNCO on her latest banger, “Honey Boo,” Natti Natasha deserves priority placement on your next playlist.
From appearing on The X Factor fifteen years ago to winning the 2018 Latin Grammy Award for Best New Artist, international superstar KAROL G currently runs the urban latino charts with fierce energy and attitude. Fighting the reggaetón industry’s gender imbalance, KAROL G consistently serves fans with premium content. Recently releasing her second full-length studio album, OCEAN, the Colombian native displays profound versatility, collaborating with Maluma, Yandel, Nicky Jam, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, J Balvin, fiancé Anuel AA, and other talented artists on the project. Experimenting with tropical EDM and trap instrumentals, KAROL G owns each verse while remaining true to her roots.
Recently winning the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album, contemporary flamenco musician ROSALÍA never ceases to captivate listeners with her unparalleled talent and sirenic coloratura vocals. Fresh onto the reggaetón scene, the Spanish singer-songwriter performs with experiential wisdom beyond her years. Blending clap-back instrumentation with staccato melodies, ROSALÍA compliments featured male-counterparts in a call-and-response fashion, as shown throughout mega-hits “Yo x Ti, Tu x Mí” and “Con Altura.” Flawlessly shattering glass ceilings as a solo female artist, ROSALÍA’s defining decade continues to break records and set herself apart from the rest of the music industry.
An OG trailblazer of 90’s reggaetón, the Puerto Rican powerhouse Ivy Queen is back and taking the industry by storm with her fresh style and modern flare. First rising to prominence as a member of the Noise, Ivy Queen ultimately paved her own path, leading a successful career spanning over 25 years. Merging hip-hop with salsa and bachata, she integrates influence from Selena and Celia Cruz throughout her songwriting. A political activist and philanthropist, Ivy Queen passionately channels themes of feminism and equality, using music as a platform for social change. Releasing a new single last Friday and an album in 2019, Ivy Queen’s jams function as the “Antídoto” for boring nights at home.
Non-stop grinding since her breakout hit “Shower,” Becky G indisputably embodies the entire package. Offered a record deal with RCA and Kemosabe Records at only 14-years-old, the South Los Angeleno enters her tenth year of recording music with legendary producer Dr. Luke. Significantly maturer with a new album, MALA SANTA, under her belt, Becky G no longer represents the American pop star fans once knew. Fully embracing her Mexican ethnicity, she empowers listeners to feel comfortable in their own skin through rhythmic lyrics and percussive bass. From teaming up with reggaetón moguls Natti Natasha, Bad Bunny and J Balvin to singing with up-and-comers Myke Towers, Sech and Rema, Becky G is a force to be reckoned with.
Playing with a significantly smaller league than the aforementioned powerhouse ladies, on-the-rise reggaetón artist La Insuperable possesses potential for sharing their spotlight in future years to come. Originally gaining recognition through YouTube, the Dominican-Spanish diva unapologetically showcases bossy swag throughout her music. Despite not releasing a full-length project since her 2013 debut album, La Mami del Swagger, the sing-rapping vocalist remains relevant with urban/hip-hop fused singles, including the recent banger “Tengo Derecho.” Partnering with producer-husband Toxic Crow, La Insuperable is ready to follow her namesake and overcome industry adversities.
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