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South African Singer, Tyla Beats Burna Boy, Davido to Win Best African Music Performance

Tyla, a South African singer, won the Best African Music Performance category at the 2024 Grammy Awards on Sunday.

The female rapper beat out Nigerian artists David Adeleke, called Davido; Ahmed Ololade, aka Asake; and Damini Ogulu, aka Burna Boy.

Tyla’s ‘Water’ followed Davido’s ‘Unavailable,’ Asake’s ‘Amapiano,’ Burna Boy’s ‘City Boys,’ and Ayra Starr’s ‘Rush.’

The song ‘Water’ reached the top ten in 16 countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States.

The honor was given during the 66th Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony at the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles.

The singer was caught away when she won the medal, which was presented by Jimmy Jam during the awards premiere ceremony.

“What the heck?!” she exclaimed once on stage. “This is crazy, I never thought I’d say I won a GRAMMY at 22 years old.”

Despite heavy competition, the amapiano-based pop song ‘Water’ entered the Billboard Hot 100 last year, the first by a South African solo artist since Hugh Masekala in 1968.

Water later reached No. 7, making her the highest-charting African female solo artist in Billboard history. The song also peaked at number one on the Billboard US Afrobeats Songs and Hip-Hop/R&B charts.

During her winning speech, the 22-year-old called out her family, stating, “I know my mother’s crying somewhere in here.”

She made history as the inaugural winner of the new Best African Music Performance category, which, according to Academy president Harvey Mason Jr., was intended to honor music from the African continent.

In an interview with, he stated: “I’d like to see us be able to recognize even more music from Africa and other parts of the world. The future of the Recording Academy will be built on equities. We’re not just celebrating music from our country, but music from all across the world.”

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