South Africa has firmly established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the global music industry, boasting an impressive tally of Grammy Awards over the years. The country’s rich and diverse musical talent has garnered recognition and acclaim on the prestigious international stage, contributing to its growing prominence in the world of music.

1. Miriam Makeba Paves the Way (1966)
Grammy Awards in 1966 (8th annual Grammy Awards) with Harry Belafonte for the 1965 album, An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba
1966- Best Folk Recording An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba

The journey began with the legendary Miriam Makeba, who not only secured South Africa’s first Grammy Award in 1966 but also marked a historic moment for the entire continent. Makeba’s groundbreaking achievement stands as the first Grammy win for an African artist, setting the stage for South Africa’s continued success on the global stage.

2. Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Resounding Success (1987, 2004, 2008, 2013, 2017)
Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo
1987- Best Traditional Folk Recording
2004- Best Traditional World Music Album Raise Your Spirit Higher
2008- Best Traditional World Music Album
Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu
2013- Best World Music Album Live: Singing For Peace Around The World
2017- Best World Music Album Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the iconic singing group, has been a consistent presence at the Grammys, with an impressive five wins spanning several decades. Their harmonious melodies have captivated audiences worldwide, earning them a well-deserved spot in Grammy history.

3. Soweto Gospel Choir‘s Triumphant Gospel (2006, 2007, 2010)
Soweto Gospel Choir wins award at 61st Grammy Awards in Los Angeles | Credit: UPI
2007- Best Traditional World Music Album
2008- Best Traditional World Music Album
African Spirit
2019- Best World Music Album

Adding to South Africa’s Grammy triumphs, the Soweto Gospel Choir has been a beacon of gospel excellence, securing three Grammy Awards in 2007, 2008, and 2019. Their powerful performances have transcended cultural boundaries, resonating with listeners globally.

4. Lebo M’s Musical Mastery (1995)
1994- Best Instrumental Arrangement With Accompanying Vocals Circle Of Life

Renowned composer Lebo M made his mark in 1995, bringing home a Grammy Award for his exceptional contributions to the world of music. His talent has not only enriched South Africa’s musical landscape but has also left an indelible impact on the global stage.

5. Trevor Rabin’s Musical Ingenuity (1988)
1988- Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Big Generator (Album)

Trevor Rabin, a distinguished South African musician and songwriter, earned his Grammy Award in 1988. His innovative musical prowess has made a lasting impression, contributing to South Africa’s growing influence in the global music scene.

6. Phil Ramone’s Engineering Brilliance (1965, 1970, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1995, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011)
Phil Ramone, left, and Paul Simon, won the Grammy for Best Album for “Still Crazy After All These Years” in 1976
1965- Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical
1970- Best Score From An Original Cast Show Album
Promises, Promises
1976- Album Of The Year
Still Crazy After All These Years
1980- Record Of The Year
Just The Way You Are
1981- Album Of The Year
52nd Street
1982- Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical)
1984- Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special
1995- Best Musical Show Album
2003- Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Playin’ With My Friends – Bennett Sings The Blues
2005- Best Surround Sound Album
Genius Loves Company 2005- Album Of The Year
Genius Loves Company
2006- Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
The Art Of Romance
2007- Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Duets: An American Classic
2011- Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Duets II

The late Phil Ramone, a South African-born American recording engineer, remains a record-holder with an impressive 14 Grammy Awards spanning several decades. His engineering brilliance has shaped the sounds of countless artists, leaving an enduring legacy.

7. Dave Matthews’ Double Triumph (1997, 2004)
1997- Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
So Much To Say
2004- Best Male Rock Vocal Performance

South African-born American musician Dave Matthews secured two Grammy Awards in 1997 and 2004, further solidifying South Africa’s impact on the global music stage.

8. Wouter Kellerman’s Flute Magic (2015, 2023)
2015- Best New Age Album
Winds Of Samsara
2023- Best Global Music Performance

Renowned flutist Wouter Kellerman has contributed to South Africa’s Grammy success with two wins in 2015 and 2023. His enchanting flute melodies have garnered international acclaim.

Black Coffee’s Electronic Excellence (2022)
2022- Best Dance/Electronic Music Album Subconsciously

DJ and record producer Black Coffee made history by winning a Grammy Award in 2022, highlighting the influence of South African electronic music on the global stage.

10. Nomcebo Zikode, Zakes Bantwini, and Wouter Kellerman’s Collaborative Victory (2023)
2023- Best Global Music Performance

In 2023, Nomcebo Zikode and Zakes Bantwini joined forces with Wouter Kellerman to secure another Grammy Award for South Africa, showcasing the collaborative spirit and diverse talent within the country.

Tyla’s Breakthrough (2024)
Tyla Wins Grammy Award
2024- Best African Performance Water

The most recent addition to South Africa’s Grammy triumphs is Tyla, a singer and songwriter who clinched a Grammy Award in 2024, becoming the youngest South African Grammy Award winner and marking a new chapter in the nation’s musical journey.


South Africa’s remarkable success at the Grammy Awards reflects the nation’s vibrant and diverse musical landscape. From traditional gospel to electronic beats, South African artists continue to make waves globally, earning their place among the music industry’s elite. As the world turns its attention to the next generation of South African musicians, the country’s Grammy legacy is sure to endure and inspire future talents on the international stage.

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