Karol G scores her first No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart as KG0516 arrives atop the April 10-dated survey. With 24,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending April 1, the set earns the biggest week by a female act in nearly four years.
“My first goal and personal challenge was to really listen to the album without stopping,” Karol G tells Billboard. “It had to be me who liked it the most to the point of becoming a fan. After achieving that, my greatest wish was to work it in a commercial way that it would connect with all the people who listened to it. I did not take it for granted but I did dream it, so the fact that I debuted No. 1 on Top Latin Albums, wow! It fills me with satisfaction, joy and motivation. I still have this album on repeat, but this makes me want to continue creating more music because I am connected with my art, with my music and I feel that people are enjoying that personal connection.”
Biggest Week for a Latin Album by a Woman Since 2017: Of KG0516’s starting sum of 24,000 equivalent album units, album sales comprise 4,000 and the bulk of the remainder comprise SEA units (equaling 27.4 million on-demand streams of the set’s songs). The set boasts the biggest week, by units, for a Latin album by a woman since Shakira’s El Dorado started at No. 2 with 29,000 units in its first week (chart dated June 17, 2017).
KG0516 was released March 26 on Universal Music Latino/UMLE. The 16-track set is a follow-up to two runner-up efforts: Unstoppable, Karol G’s album debut (Nov. 2017; 4,000 equivalent album units in its first week) and Ocean (May 2019; 12,000 units).
“As the name of the album is a flight number and everything in it revolves around that trip, my challenge was to find a direction for each song,” Karol G says. “Each one should take you to a different destination, be it love, heartbreak, or celebration, including the sounds, the mix, the fusion of the genres. In reality it was full of challenges, but I had the time and disposition, since we were in quarantine, to work on it calmly, to work with love and be able to find that perfect balance between each song.”
Second Female Solo Act To Debut At No. 1 in 2021: Karol G becomes the second female solo act to debut at No. 1 on Top Latin Albums in 2021, as Selena Gomez also started atop the tally with Revelación, her first Spanish-language project (March 27-dated survey). Prior to both artists, Jenni Rivera’s Paloma Negra Desde Monterrey bowed atop the list dated Nov. 19, 2016. In between Rivera and Gomez, a collaborative set by two women launched at No. 1: Gloria Trevi and Alejandra Guzmán’s Versus on July 22, 2017.
Three songs from KG0516 debut on Hot Latin Songs: “El Makinon,” with Mariah Angelic, at No. 9 , “El Barco,” at No. 19 and “200 Copas” at No. 44. With the three arrivals she places a total of five songs on the chart as “Location” surges 10-6 and “Bichota” lifts 8-7.
Karol G expands her winning streak as “Location,” with Anuel AA and J Balvin, ascends 2-1 on Latin Airplay. The song climbs with a 38% burst in audience impressions, to 13 million, earned in the week ending April 4. She ties Jennifer Lopez for the third-most No. 1 by a female act, both with 10 leaders. Ahead of them? Shakira with 15 No. 1s and Gloria Estefan with 11. J Balvin meanwhile, extends his second-most No. 1 overall wins with 29, while Anuel AA ups his career count to nine.
“It’s a difficult task to decide which is my favorite song because every day I like a different one,” Karol G continues. “I love the whole album so three months ago I had a favorite, then two months later I had another favorite, today I’m enjoying another one…Being able to bring in all the collaborators to ‘Leyendas’ was a true satisfaction. The song was born out of the same collaboration that has existed among artists which has made the genre evolve, so I had the idea of choosing some of my favorite classics, bringing those artists from those classics, each one singing in the other’s song. Having had the positive response of all to carry out this idea, without egos, without problems, was pure joy.”