Karol G, first Latina to headline Lollapalooza, brings fans to tears with her performance

She’s one of the hottest acts in the world as Latin music continues its global takeover.

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Karol G performs on the Bud Light stage on day one of Lollapalooza, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

The very first Latina to headline Lollapalooza in the festival’s 30 years in Chicago, Karol G proved that it’s her world and we’re all just living in it.

The energy that could be felt throughout her set on Thursday night was one of fierce Latino pride, especially as attendees waved flags from several Latin American countries.

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Thousands of fans waited for hours at Bud Light stage to see the 32-year-old singer from Medellín, Colombia. It had been five months since her last performance in the Windy City.

“I’m trying with my English, and this is amazing!” she screamed into her mic, acknowledging the massive crowd in attendance.

She’s one of the hottest acts in the world as Latin music continues its global takeover. In Chicago, her songs are dominating Spanish-language radio stations like 93.5’s Latino Mix.

Her lyrics are a little bit of everything, too. They’re sensual — perfectly complementing The Rolling Stones shirt she wore. They’re also all about self-love, partying all night long and finding inspiration in the natural world.

Karol G is known for her reggaetón and Latin pop hits, but she takes inspiration from her neighbors to the east in Brazil, too. Later, backed up by an accordion, guitar and tuba all played by women, she wore a cowboy hat and performed her song “Gucci los Paños,” a regional Mexican song about getting over an ex while crying into designer tissues.

It’s clear that Karol G is all about girl-power, community and positivity. To add a local touch to “Mañana Será Bonito” (“tomorrow will be beautiful”), she brought out the United Voices Chicago choir. Some fans were moved to tears after the performance.

And her fans know every word to every one of her songs, especially “TUSA,” a collaboration with Nicki Minaj from 2021. Karol’s dancing was infectious, and fans copied her moves especially while her DJ put a stimulating, clubby spin on “Provenza.”

With 20 minutes still left in her set, fans shouted “¡Otra!” (“another”) as the singer a quick breather.

Karol G will be back in Chicago in September, when she’ll perform at Soldier Field for her Mañana Será Bonito Tour. It’s exciting to see her journey as her career continues to skyrocket.

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Fans turn on the lights on their phones as Karol G performs on the Bud Light stage on day one of Lollapalooza, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Karol G performs on the Bud Light stage on day one of Lollapalooza, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.

Karol G performs on the Bud Light stage on day one of Lollapalooza, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Karol G performs on the Bud Light stage on day one of Lollapalooza, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.

Karol G performs on the Bud Light stage on day one of Lollapalooza, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

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