The 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards (November 4 at the Bizkaia Arena in Bilbao, Spain) were stocked with standout performances by superstar female artists, including Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Halsey. But 26-year-old Rosalía, born about five hours away in Catalonia, stole the show with her performance of “De Aquí No Sales” and moody hit single “Malamente.”
Last week in Las Vegas she did it again, winning two Latin Grammys for “Malamente”—including Best Urban Fusion Performance, toppling the Beyoncé remix of J Balvin’s “Mi Gente”—and performing the catchy, handclap-infested track inside the electrified MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Thanks to her innovative blend of traditional Flamenco with global urban sounds, Rosalía has quickly become the rare Spanish artist to make an impact outside her home country. Her second studio album, El Mal Querer, which includes “Malamente” and the equally infectious midtempo “Bagdad” (sampling Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River”), arrived November 2. It should keep this rising international star’s music and style all over the charts and, deservingly, in dance clubs everywhere. –Brock Radke