Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar (born October 11, 1992), known professionally as Cardi B, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. Born and raised in The Bronx, New York City, she became an Internet celebrity after several of her posts and videos became viral on Vine and Instagram. From 2015 to 2017, she appeared as a regular cast member on the VH1 reality television series Love & Hip Hop: New York to follow her music aspirations, and released two mixtapes—Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
Cardi B has since earned three number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100; “Bodak Yellow” made her the second female rapper to top the chart with a solo output—following Lauryn Hill in 1998, “I Like It” made her the only female rapper to attain multiple number-one songs on the chart, and her Maroon 5 collaboration “Girls Like You” made her the sixth female artist to achieve three number-one singles on the chart during the 2010s. Her debut studio album, Invasion of Privacy (2018), on which the former two songs are included, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, broke several streaming records, and was certified triple platinum by the RIAA. Critically acclaimed, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, making Cardi B the only woman to win the award as a solo artist. Also in 2018, Time included her on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Among her numerous accolades, Cardi B has won a Grammy Award, seven Billboard Music Awards, nine BET Hip Hop Awards, three American Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, and two Guinness World Records.
2018: Invasion of Privacy
On January 3, 2018, Cardi B was featured on Bruno Mars’ remix version of “Finesse”, and also appeared in the 90’s inspired video. On January 18, 2018, Cardi B became the first woman to have five top 10 singles simultaneously on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart. She released another single, “Be Careful”, on March 30, 2018, a week before her album’s release.
Her debut studio album, Invasion of Privacy, was released on April 6, 2018, to universal acclaim from music critics. Editors from Variety and The New York Times called it “one of the most powerful debuts of this millennium” and “a hip-hop album that doesn’t sound like any of its temporal peers,” respectively. The album entered at number one in the United States, while she became the first female artist to chart 13 entries simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100, on the chart issue dated April 21. It also became the most streamed album by a female artist in a single week in Apple Music, and the largest on-demand audio streaming week ever for an album by a woman (a record broken in 2019 by Ariana Grande’s album Thank U, Next). The album’s title reflects Cardi B’s feeling that as she gained popularity her privacy was being invaded in a variety of ways. Following the album’s release, during a performance on Saturday Night Live, Cardi B officially announced her pregnancy, after much media speculation. She also co-hosted an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Several months later, in July 2018, the album’s fourth single, “I Like It”, which features vocals from Bad Bunny and J Balvin, reached number one on the Hot 100; this marked her second number one on the chart and made her the first female rapper to achieve multiple chart-toppers. Her collaboration with Maroon 5, “Girls Like You,” also reached number one the Hot 100 chart, extending her record among female rappers and also making her the sixth female artist to achieve three number-one singles on the chart during the 2010s The song’s music video has received more than 2.2 billion views on YouTube, making it the most viewed video of 2018, and was the fifth-best selling song of the year globally. With “Girls Like You” following “I Like It” at the top of the Billboard Radio Songs chart, Cardi B became the first female rapper to ever replace herself at number one on that chart. The single spent seven weeks atop the Hot 100, making Cardi the female rapper with most cumulative weeks atop the chart, with eleven weeks. It spent 33 weeks in the top 10, tying Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” for the longest top 10 run in the chart’s archives. In October 2018, Invasion of Privacy was certified double platinum by the RIAA. With the thirteen tracks, she became the first female artist to have all songs from an album certified gold or higher in the US.
Cardi B received the most nominations for the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards with 12 mentions, winning three awards. She also tied with Drake for the most nominations at the 2018 American Music Awards. She won three AMAs and performed at the ceremony. Her single “Money” and her collaboration with DJ Snake “Taki Taki” entered the top 20 on the Hot 100. “Taki Taki” topped the charts in a number of Hispanic countries and has garnered more than 1 billion views. People en Español named her Star of the Year. Entertainment Weekly deemed her “a pop culture phenomenon”, as she was named one of “2018 Entertainers of the Year.” On November 30, 2018, Cardi B was honored at Ebony’s annual Power 100 Gala. Cardi ranked fifth on the 2018 Billboard Year-End Top Artists chart, while Invasion of Privacy ranked sixth. She also topped streaming services’ rankings, including Apple Music (the most-streamed album of the year by a female artist globally) and Spotify (the most streamed female artist of the year in the United States). Editorial staff from Apple Music and Billboard named “I Like It” the best song of 2018, while Time magazine and Rolling Stone named Invasion of Privacy the best album of the year. Articles by several publications, including The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, have called her “hip-hop’s current reigning queen.” Also in 2018, Time included her on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
2019: Upcoming sophomore album
Cardi B, along with Chance the Rapper and T.I., will be a judge for Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow, a 10-part hip-hop talent search that is set to debut in 2019. Cardi received five nominations at the 61st Grammy Awards, including for Album of the Year, Best Rap Album and Record of the Year (“I Like It”). She became the third female rapper to be nominated for Album of the Year, following Lauryn Hill (1999) and Missy Elliott (2004). On February 10, 2019, she then performed at the award ceremony, where she wore three vintage Thierry Mugler couture looks during the telecast, and became the first female rapper to win Best Rap Album as a solo artist.
On February 15, 2019, Cardi B released a single alongside Bruno Mars called “Please Me”. The official music video was released two weeks later on March 1. On March 1, Cardi set a new attendance record at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, with 75,580 fans in the audience. With “Backin’ It Up”, “Twerk” and “Money”, Cardi became the first female artist to occupy the top three on the Billboard Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop airplay chart. The song marks Cardi’s and Bruno’s second collaboration, following “Finesse” in 2018. On May 27, 2019, Cardi B tweeted that her new single titled “Press” and its cover will be released on May 31, 2019. The music video was released on June 26, 2019. It had its debut performance at the BET Awards 2019.
In March 2019, it was announced Cardi B would make her film debut in Hustlers directed by Lorene Scafaria, opposite Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. It is scheduled to be released on September 13, 2019. She led the 2019 Billboard Music Awards nominations, with 21, the most nominations in a single year ever by a woman and the third most nominations in a year ever (behind Drake and The Chainsmokers, who both had 22 in a year). She ended up winning six awards, bringing her career total wins to seven—the most of any female rapper in history.