Rising SA star Tyla makes Billboard Hot 100 debut

Rising SA star Tyla makes Billboard Hot 100 debut

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

SA singer Tyla poses on the beach
South African singer Tyla/ Instagram ('Water' single cover art. Photographed by Michael Nyembo)

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, formerly known as Twitter. "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 that inspired a dance challenge.

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

"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," the magazine 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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