July 20, 2024
Tyla at the 66th GRAMMY Awards on February 04, 2024, in Los Angeles, California. EMMA MCINTYRE/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY

Tyla at the 66th GRAMMY Awards on February 04, 2024, in Los Angeles, California. EMMA MCINTYRE/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY

Tyla at the 66th GRAMMY Awards on February 04, 2024, in Los Angeles, California.EMMA MCINTYRE/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY
Tyla at the 66th GRAMMY Awards on February 04, 2024, in Los Angeles, California.
EMMA MCINTYRE/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY

South African singer Tyla has made history by winning the first-ever award for Best African Music Performance at the Grammy Awards 2024. Her mega-hit song “Water” brought her this prestigious honor at the 66th edition of the Grammys.

A Stellar Lineup

Tyla was up against some of Nigeria’s top stars, including Burna Boy, Davido, Asake, Ayra Starr, and others. Despite the tough competition, the Recording Academy recognized Tyla’s exceptional talent and awarded her the Best African Music Performance Grammy.

A Well-Deserved Victory

Tyla at the 66th GRAMMY Awards on February 04, 2024, in Los Angeles, California.
Tyla at the 66th GRAMMY Awards on February 04, 2024, in Los Angeles, California.

Tyla, born in Johannesburg, didn’t have to worry too much as she confidently took home the Grammy for Best African Music Performance in the category’s inaugural year. Her fellow nominees included ASAKE & Olamide, Burna Boy, Davido featuring Musa Keys, and Ayra Starr. Tyla’s hit single “Water” even reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart last month.

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New Categories at the Grammys

The Best African Music Performance category is one of three new additions to the 2024 Grammys. The other two categories are Best Alternative Jazz Album and Best Pop Dance Recording. Australian pop star Kylie Minogue won the latter award for her song “Padam Padam.”

A Dream Come True

As Tyla accepted her Grammy, she expressed her disbelief, saying:

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 and last year God decided to change my whole life, so thank you so much to God. Thank you to my team, my family. I know my mother’s crying somewhere in here.

Thank you to the Recording Academy for this category. It’s so important and I know I’m forgetting some things, but I won a Grammy! Thank you, thank you!

– She said in her acceptance speech.

She graciously thanked the Recording Academy for introducing this important category and recognizing the significance of African music.

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A Milestone Achievement

This victory is a major milestone for Tyla, as it marks her first-ever Grammy nomination. It’s an incredible accomplishment for such a young artist, and it sets the stage for an even more promising career ahead.

Big Loss For Nigerian Artists

Burna Boy, who had four nominations going into the ceremony and headed Africa’s delegation, did not win. Apart from losing to Tyla in the Best African Music category, he also failed to win the Best Global Music Performance title, which went to Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and Zakir Hussain featuring Rakesh Chaurasia’s “Pashto,” and the Best Global Album title, which went to Shakti’s “The Moment.” Additionally, Lil Durk’s “All My Life” featuring J Cole won Best Melodic Rap Performance, defeating him.

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All three categories in which he was nominated—Best African Music, Best Global Music Performance, and Best Global Album—were lost by other prominent Nigerian Afrobeats artists like Davido.

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