The flamenco innovator accepted Billboard's Rising Star title, presented by Honda
"Rosalía has the depth of an artist who has been with us for generations," said Lauren Jauregui, introducing the 27-year old at Billboard's 2019 Women in Music awards ceremony. Rosalía was accepting the honor of Rising Star thanks to her recent streak of spellbinding art, but true Jauregui's words, her modern take on the flamenco of her native Spain -- specifically its Catalonia region -- carries tremendous history.
Rosalía took the stage and tore into an a cappella version of "Catalina," the lead single from her 2017 album Los Ángeles. Delivering the dramatic ballad with no more than her powerful vocals and some dramatic hand gestures, it was impossible for the crowd to be anything but transfixed, almost instantly. She segued into her El Mal Querer song "Di Mi Nombre" and continued to hold the crowd in the palm of her hand, finally joining a quartet of backing vocalists for the finale. As they chanted, "Ali, Ali, Ali!" Rosalía broke into dance for the final moments.