Tyla becomes youngest South African ever to win Grammy

Tyla Seethal, who is only 22 years old, has accomplished a remarkable feat in the music industry by becoming the youngest-ever Grammy award recipient from South Africa.

Tyla won her first Grammy in the prestigious “Best African Performance” category at the 66th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday.

Trevor Noah, a comedian who is South African-born, hosted the awards ceremony.

Recognised in the same category was fellow South African Musa Keys for his work on the song “Unavailable,” which he co-wrote with Davido, the megastar of Nigeria.

Fiercely competing entries

The songs Amapiano by Asake and Olamide, City Boys by Burna Boy, and Rush by Ayra Starr were among the fiercely competing entries.

With her win, Tyla joins an exclusive group of South African Grammy winners that includes well-known performers like Trevor Rabin, Wouter Kellerman, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Nomcebo Zikode, Black Coffee, and Zakes Bantwini.

Tyla, overcome with happiness, acknowledged in her acceptance speech that she had never imagined winning a Grammy in her twenties and that she was proud of her accomplishment.

“What the heck, what? Oh my gosh, guys, this is crazy. I never thought I would say I won a Grammy at 22 years old,” she said.

“Last year, God decided to change my whole life. So, thank you so much to God, my team, and my family.”

She continued by expressing her gratitude to the Recording Academy for recognising the “Best African Performance” category and highlighting its significance.

Last year, Tyla’s song “Water” became an overnight sensation, making her the first South African solo artist to appear on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song peaked at number seven

It peaked at number seven after making its chart debut at number 67, and it is currently ranked 11th.


Tyla’s Grammy victory is evidence of the thriving talent and international influence of South African music, in addition to being a personal victory.

In a statement on Monday, Minister for Sport, Arts, and Culture Zizi Kodwa praised Tyla’s astounding success.

“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,” said Kodwa.

He also commended Tyla for her commitment to flying the South African flag high internationally and emphasised her priceless contributions to the nation’s rich cultural legacy.

Flying South African flag high

“Tyla is a proud ambassador of South African arts and culture. I congratulate Tyla for this historic Grammy award win, which comes before she has even released a full album.

“Continue to inspire and raise the South African flag high.”

Added the ANC: “As South Africans, we take immense pride in Tyla’s achievement, recognising it as a source of inspiration for aspiring artists and a reflection of the vibrant cultural tapestry that defines our nation.

“The ANC commends Tyala for elevating South African talent on the global stage and believes that this accomplishment will inspire others to pursue their dreams with determination and passion.”

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