South Africa’s amapiano star Tyla makes Billboard Hot 100 debut

Tyla's song 'Water' entered the Apple Music US chart at number 82, making it the highest charting song by a South African artist since Master KG’s 'Jerusalema'.

South Africa’s rising music star Tyla has made a landmark debut on the Billboard Hot 100 with her viral hit Water.

Born Tyla Laura Seethal, the 21-year-old amapiano artist hailed her breakthrough as a “win for the whole of Africa” on social media.

“I’m a South African girl born and raised in Johannesburg,” she wrote on X. “This is crazy.”

Water mixes genres including R&B and amapiano − itself a blend of house, jazz and lounge music, born in South Africa’s townships that is experiencing growing global popularity.

The single went in at number 67 on the Billboard chart, the leading weekly music ranking in the United States, helped by Tyla’s social media presence.

Released in July, the catchy song went viral on TikTok in recent weeks after the artist posted videos of herself dancing to it and this inspired a dance challenge.

One clip gathered more than 70 million views on the platform.

@tyla_ Dc @Litchi #tyla ♬ Water – Tyla

“Tyla scores her first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated Oct. 14), as Water, the breakthrough single for the South African singer-songwriter, debuts at No. 67,” Billboard wrote on Tuesday.

“TikTok has been a major contributor in the song’s growing profile,” it added.

Signed by Epic Records, a record label owned by Sony, Tyla has only a few singles to her name but is already considered one of the most promising talents on the continent by industry experts.

This year, she was the opening act for American RnB singer Chris Brown during his European tour.

“Let’s take our sound to the world,” Tyla wrote on X.

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