The 22-year-old singer was taken aback upon winning the trophy, which was awarded by Jimmy Jam during the GRAMMYs Premiere Ceremony.
“What the heck?!” she declared once on stage. “This is crazy, I never thought I’d say I won a GRAMMY at 22 years old.”
The amapiano-based pop song entered the Billboard Hot 100 last year, the first for a South African solo artist since Hugh Masekala in 1968.
It later peaked at No. 7, making her the highest-charting African female solo musician in Billboard history. The song also went to No. 1 on the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs and Hip-Hop/R&B charts.
Tyla shouted out her family during her acceptance speech, saying “I know my mother’s crying somewhere in here.”
Tyla makes history as the first-ever Best African Music performance winner. The category was created in order for the Academy to honor music from the continent, according to Academy President Harvey Mason Jr.
“I’d love to see us be able to honor even more music from Africa and other areas of the world,” Mason said in an interview with GRAMMY.com.
“The future of the Recording Academy is going to build on equity. We’re not just honoring music breaking in our country — we’re celebrating music from around the world.”