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Tyla says her father will keep Grammy in his room

In an interview backstage just after her win, Tyla revealed that her father had already decided that her Grammy was going in his room

Emmanuel Tjiya S Mag Editor-in-chief
Tyla poses with the Best African Music Performance award at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2024.
Tyla poses with the Best African Music Performance award at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2024.
Image: DAVID SWANSON

Grammy award winner Tyla says her father has decided that the gong would be placed in his room.

In an interview backstage after collecting the award, 22-year-old Tyla who made history by becoming the youngest South African to win a Grammy, said: "My father already told me that it’s going in his room.”

Born Tyla Seethal in Edenvale, the middle child of five, made history by winning the Grammy on Sunday in LA for her smash hit Water in newly added category Best African Music Performance. Fellow South African Musa Keys also got the nod in the category for Unavailable – his collaboration with Nigerian megastar Davido.

Amapiano by Asake and Olamide; City Boys by Burna Boy as well as Rush by Ayra Starr completed the nominees.

Tyla joins an elite crop of South Africans to win a Grammy that includes Zakes Bantwini, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Soweto Gospel Choir, Black Coffee, Nomcebo Zikode, Wouter Kellerman and Miriam Makeba.

Tyla accepts the award for Best African Music Performance for Water during the Premiere ceremony of the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Tyla accepts the award for Best African Music Performance for Water during the Premiere ceremony of the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Image: MIKE BLAKE

“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… Last year God decided to change my whole life. So, thank you so much to God, my team and my family. I know my mother is crying somewhere in here [pointing into the audience],” said Tyla, who turned 22 about a week ago, during her acceptance speech. 

“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 concluded, holding her Grammy up high and then doing a happy dance; to which the audience responded with roaring applause.

Image: MIKE BLAKE

Tyla looked the part in a custom Versace cut-out mesh dress. 

Largely driven by a viral TikTok dance challenge, Water has broken all sorts of records, one of the biggest being the first SA solo act to chart on Billboard Hot 100. The song debuted at number 67, peaking at number 7 and currently sits on number 11, having been on the chart for 17 weeks. 

“I’m a big dreamer. Obviously, I’m proud and feel blessed about everything that has been happening, but my goal is to one day be the biggest pop star in the world. I want people to say that that pop star was born and raised in South Africa. I want to be on Rihanna and Drake’s level,” Tyla told Sowetan SMag last June in her cover story for the magazine’s Youth issue.

Last year, Tyla was booked and busy, taking the world by storm by performing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, appearing on The Jennifer Hudson Show and ringing in 2024 as the headline performer at New York’s famous Times Square ball drop.

She is not showing any signs of slowing down, and will perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. Water is also nominated for Best International Song at the 44th annual Brit Awards taking place in London next month.

Tyla's hit is nominated against songs by Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus, Olivia Rodrigo, SZA, Rema and more. She is also a nominee at the Mobo Awards for Best African Music Act.

Jay Z kisses Beyonce during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2024.
Jay Z kisses Beyonce during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2024.
Image: MIKE BLAKE

Host of the night Trevor Noah – hosting for the third consecutive time – lost out to fellow comedian Dave Chappelle for Best Comedy Album. This was his second Grammy nomination, having got the nod in the same category in 2020.

Other first-time Grammy winners joining Tyla were Miley Cyrus, Victoria Monet, boygenius, Karol G, Lil Durk, Fred Again and Coco Jones. 

“It’s very rewarding to be one of the artists who continue to put R&B on the map. I aim to hopefully make my generation feel how R&B was back in the day,” Jones told Sowetan after receiving five nominations in December.

Other winners included Taylor Swift, SZA, Killer Mike and Paramore. Performers included Dua Lipa, Burna Boy, Brandy, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell and more.

Other Mzansi stars in attendance were Boity Thulo, Anele Mdoda, Kefilwe Mabote, Bantwini and Sizwe Dhlomo.

Coco Jones poses with the Best R and B Performance award during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Coco Jones poses with the Best R and B Performance award during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Image: DAVID SWANSON
Miley Cyrus performs during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Miley Cyrus performs during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Image: MIKE BLAKE
Doja Cat poses on the red carpet as she attends the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Doja Cat poses on the red carpet as she attends the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Image: MARIO ANZUONI
SZA accepts the award for Best R&B Song for Snooze during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
SZA accepts the award for Best R&B Song for Snooze during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Image: MIKE BLAKE
Janelle Monae attends the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Janelle Monae attends the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Image: MARIO ANZUONI
Victoria Monet poses with the Best R&B Album and Best New Artist award.
Victoria Monet poses with the Best R&B Album and Best New Artist award.
Image: DAVID SWANSON
Summer Walker poses on the red carpet as she attends the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Summer Walker poses on the red carpet as she attends the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Image: MARIO ANZUONI
Trevor Noah speaks onstage at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Trevor Noah speaks onstage at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Image: MIKE BLAKE
Billie Eilish poses with the Best Song of the Year award and the Best Song Written for Visual Media during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Billie Eilish poses with the Best Song of the Year award and the Best Song Written for Visual Media during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Image: DAVID SWANSON
Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift pose on the red carpet as they attend the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift pose on the red carpet as they attend the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Image: MARIO ANZUONI
Ice Spice poses on the red carpet as she attends the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Ice Spice poses on the red carpet as she attends the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Image: MARIO ANZUONI

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