Tyla Wins First-Ever Grammy for Best African Music Performance with “Water”, Beats Davido, Olamide Burna Boy

Tyla Laura Seethal, better known as Tyla, made history at the 2024 Grammys by winning the first-ever award for Best African Music Performance with her smash hit “Water.”

The 22-year-old South African sensation beat out some of the biggest names in Afrobeats, such as Burna Boy, Davido, Asake & Olamide, and Ayra Starr, who were also nominated in the new category.

Tyla was visibly shocked and ecstatic when she received the golden gramophone from Jimmy Jam during the Grammy’s Premiere Ceremony, as reported by the Grammy website.

“This is crazy, I never thought I’d say I won a Grammy at 22 years old,” she exclaimed on stage. “What the heck?!”

Tyla’s “Water” is a catchy and infectious pop song that blends amapiano, a South African house music genre, with elements of R&B and hip-hop. The song became a global sensation last year, reaching No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the first song by a South African solo artist to enter the chart since Hugh Masekela in 1968. Tyla also topped the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs and Hip-Hop/R&B charts with “Water,” making her the most successful African female solo artist in Billboard history.

Tyla dedicated her award to her family, especially her mother, who she said was crying somewhere in the audience. She also thanked her fans, her team, and her collaborators for their support.

Tyla’s win marks a historic moment for African music, as the Academy recognized the diversity and richness of the continent’s musical culture with the new category. Academy President Harvey Mason Jr. said in an interview with Grammy.com that he hoped to honor more music from Africa and other regions of the world in the future.

“The future of the Recording Academy is going to build on equity. We’re not just honoring music breaking in our country — we’re celebrating music from around the world,” he said.

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