South African artist Tyla beats Davido, Burna Boy, makes history at GRAMMYs

South Africa's music sensation Tlya holding her GRAMMY award
South Africa's music sensation Tlya holding her GRAMMY award

South African musical prodigy Tyla has clinched a historic victory at the first-ever Grammys dedicated to African music. Her global sensation, “Water,” propelled her to win the coveted title of Best African Music Performance, surpassing industry heavyweights such as Nigeria’s Burna Boy, Davido, Ayra Starr, and Asake.

While Tyla’s triumph has sparked jubilation among her fellow South Africans, it has also stirred controversy within the Nigerian music community. Following the announcement of her win, a wave of surprise and discussion flooded social media platforms as some Nigerians questioned how a relatively new artist on the African music scene could outshine the more established Afrobeats stars nominated alongside her.

The victory signifies a major milestone for Tyla and her supporters, highlighting the global impact of her chart-topping track. However, the outcome has ignited a broader conversation about the diverse and evolving landscape of African music, with opinions varying on whether the Grammys accurately reflected the current hierarchy within the industry.

As Tyla’s star continues to rise, her win at the inaugural African music Grammys serves as a testament to the dynamic and competitive nature of the continent’s music scene, leaving fans and critics alike eager to see what groundbreaking achievements lie ahead for this emerging South African sensation.

But many of Tyla’s fans see her win as deserved, citing the massive success of her Grammy-winning hit.

Last year, Water became a widely popular global summer anthem, propelling it to smash records on streaming platforms and dominate charts like the Billboard Hot 100.

“This is crazy! I never thought I’d say I won a Grammy at 22 years old!” Tyla exclaimed as she accepted the prestigious award in the US on Sunday night, while dazzling in a custom Versace gown.

Some Africans on social media have hailed Sunday’s Grammys as a historic moment for the continent’s talent, with Tyla winning, Burna Boy performing and South African comedian Trevor Noah hosting music’s biggest event for a record fourth consecutive time.

Ramaphosa celebrates Tyla’s historic Grammy win

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has praised singer Tyla for winning the inaugural Grammys for best African music performance for her viral global hit Water.

She is the first artist to win the coveted new category.

In a post on X, Mr Ramaphosa said the singer added herself to the list of eminent South African artists and musicians “who have made an indelible mark on the world stage”.

@Tyllaaaaaaa we congratulate you and we celebrate with you. Thank you for your authenticity and for flying the flag,” he added.

Tyla edged out Nigeria’s Burna Boy, Davido, Ayra Starr and Asake who had been nominated for the award.