2024 GRAMMYs: History-Maker Tyla Becomes The First Artist To Win New African Music Performance Category

by Grace Somes
Tyla || Image credit: @tyla

“Water” made the South African singer the category’s first-ever victor for African music’s own category at the Grammys.

Tyla Laura Seethal made history at the 66th Annual Grammys by winning the Recording Academy’s newest category, Best African Music Performance.

Last year, the Recording Academy announced three new categories for this year’s awards, including a category to celebrate Afrobeats’ global superstars.

Grammy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. explained the intent behind the addition of the category following a meteoric rise in the global popularity of Afrobeats

“By introducing these three new categories, we are able to acknowledge and appreciate a broader array of artists. We are excited to honor and celebrate the creators and recordings in these categories. While also exposing a wider range of music to fans worldwide.”

Best African Music Performance is one of three new categories (Best Alternative Jazz Album and Best Pop Dance Recording) debuting at the 2024 Grammy Awards.

South African singer Tyla won the inaugural African Music Performance Award with her song Water, the lead single from her eponymous debut studio albumTyla

Taking to the stage to receive her award, Tyla said, “ I never thought I’d say I won a Grammy at 22. If you don’t know me, my name is Tyla, and I’m from South Africa. Last year, God decided to change my whole life, so thank you so much to God.

“I know my mum is crying somewhere in here. Thank you to The Recording Academy for this category. It’s so important. I know I’m forgetting some things, but I won a Grammy!”

She also shared a celebratory video on her official Instagram page with the caption, “No words.”

According to the singer, Water debuts as a novice genre, popiano, a fusion of pop and amapiano, a South African house music.

Tyla’s Grammy win came against steep contenders from the Afrobeats arena, including Burna Boy, Davido, Asake, Musa Keys, Olamide, and Ayra Star.

Now, Tyla has joined the elite crop of South Africans to win a Grammy alongside Zakes Bantwini, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Soweto Gospel Choir, Black Coffee, Nomcebo Zikode, Wouter Kellerman and Miriam Makeba.

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