LU KALA Wins Billboard Canada Women In Music Rising Star Award

The Canadian singer performed stripped-back versions of empowering pop anthems including chart hits "Hotter Now" and "Pretty Girl Era" for a session that will be released later this summer in collaboration with iHeartRadio Canada.

LU KALA at a Billboard Canada Women in Music session with iHeartRadio Canada on July 4, 2024

LU KALA at a Billboard Canada Women in Music session with iHeartRadio Canada on July 4, 2024.

Marc Thususka Photography

LU KALA has won the Billboard Canada Women In Music Rising Star Award.

The Canadian pop artist has been all over the charts this year in both the U.S. and Canada for empowering hits like "Hotter Now," "Pretty Girl Era," the ballad "Nothing But Love" and her guest turn on Latto's "Lottery."

"I've worked really hard, so it feels really nice when anyone recognizes you," said LU KALA while accepting the award in an interview with Virgin Radio host Sam East last Thursday (July 4). "Especially Billboard."

"I'm just grateful to be in a place where I'm starting to have these wins that I always dreamed about growing up," she continued.


LU KALA, who splits her time between Los Angeles and Canada, played an exclusive acoustic performance co-presented by iHeartRadio Canada at its headquarters in downtown Toronto. Her high-energy and empowering pop hits are rarely stripped down, but the live versions emphasized the singer's colourful stage presence and undeniable charisma. "'Pretty Girl Era' acoustic?" she joked at one point. "Ok!"

LU KALA radiated confidence throughout, especially during the bounce-back breakup anthem "Hotter Now" which has the line she called her favourite: "You missed this booty ever since it bounced / but it's not coming back / I'm not coming back."

In the interview, she said she learned to be self-possessed at a young age.

"I've always been a plus-sized girl, and in a time where that wasn't really being reflected in the media or anywhere else, I had to channel my confidence early," she said in the interview. "I literally was a kid and I felt like I was running the world."

Her rise has been quick, but it's not over yet. Recently, Katy Perry publicly announced that one of her upcoming singles was co-written by LU KALA, which she says came as a surprise.


"I was in disbelief when she said it. I was keeping quiet!" she says. "It was definitely a dream come true. Not many people can say that they've worked with their idols."

LU KALA's Rising Star award follows Billboard Canada Women in Music awards for The Beaches for Group of the Year and Allison Russell for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. More winners will be announced leading up to Billboard Canada's Women in Music celebration event in Toronto on September 7, 2024.

Stay tuned to iHeartRadio and Billboard Canada for the full interview and performance video from LU KALA later this summer.

Norman Wong



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