Rosana was born on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, where she was raised. She was the youngest of a family of eight children. Arbelo was given her first guitar at the age of five years old and wrote her first song aged eight. She began composing music after moving to Madrid in the early 1980s. She won first place in Benidorm's music festival with her song "Fuego y Miel," (Fire and Honey, in English) which led to her winning a recording contract with MCA. Before pursuing a solo career, she wrote songs for other musicians, including Joaquín Sabina, Miguel Ríos, and María Dolores Pradera.
Her debut album, Lunas Rotas, was released in 1996. The soundtrack for the 1996 movie Curdled featured her songs "Lunas Rotas" and "El Talismán," exposing her to an international audience.
Her second album, Luna Nueva, was released in 1998 and had a more mature and deep sound, but maintained the natural and smooth sentiments that characterize the artist. After three years, during which she wrote songs for other artists, her third album, Rosana, was released in 2001. Its sounds explored the rhythms of her birthplace in the Canary Islands.
In December 2003, Rosana released Marca Registrada, a double-disc album that contained 10 new songs, 12 greatest hits, and two videos. Most recently, she has been on tour in both Spain and Latin America, promoting her 2005 album Magia