In a remarkable achievement, 22-year-old South African singer-songwriter Tyla made history by becoming the youngest African artist to win a Grammy award.
She took home the prize for Best African Music Performance at the 66th annual Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles on Sunday.
A Star is Born
Tyla won for her breakout hit song “Water,” which became an viral sensation in 2023. The track landed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking impressively at number seven. It currently sits at number 11 on the chart.
With her win, Tyla joins an elite group of South African Grammy winners including Trevor Rabin, Wouter Kellerman, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Nomcebo Zikode, Black Coffee and Zakes Bantwini.
In her emotional acceptance speech, a stunned Tyla said:
“This is crazy, I never thought I’d say I won a Grammy at 22 years old. If you don’t know me, my name is Tyla, I’m from South Africa. Last year, God decided to change my whole life.”
She went on to thank God, her family and fans for their support.
Triumphing Over African Icons
Tyla faced tough competition in her category from other African music heavyweights. Her “Water” song beat out entries from Ayra Starr, Olamide, Burna Boy and Asake as well as fellow South African Musa Keys.
Keys was nominated for his work on “Unavailable” which he co-wrote with Nigerian megastar Davido.
Praise Pours In
Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa congratulated Tyla, saying:
“Tyla’s Grammy Award win once again confirms her status as a global music superstar. Her meteoric rise has been truly inspiring, and there is so much more to come. Tyla is a proud ambassador of South African arts and culture.”
The Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais also applauded the young star:
“Once again, South Africa is making an impact on international stages, and this is testament to the talent that we have in our country. We are incredibly proud.”
Meanwhile, social media erupted with praise for Tyla’s historic achievement. Fans and celebs alike congratulated the 22-year-old for putting South African music on the map.
Tyla made sure to celebrate the win on Instagram, posting a video of herself proudly posing with her Grammy award. She captioned it simply: “No words.”
It’s clear this is just the beginning for the talented singer-songwriter. We can’t wait to see what Tyla accomplishes next!