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Samantha Mumba

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Biography

Mumba was born in Drumcondra, Dublin, Ireland to Peter Mumba, a Zambian aircraft engineer and Barbara, an airhostess with Aer Lingus, who is Irish; she has a brother, Omero Mumba, who is an actor. Between the ages of 3 and 15, she was a student at Dublin’s renowned Billie Barry Stage School.

In 1998, she was cast as the lead in The Hot Mikado, a jazzy production based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera. She also appeared in several Irish television shows, using the opportunity to be recognised as a singer.

At the age of 15, Mumba was discovered in a night club by Irish svengali Louis Walsh (manager of Boyzone and Westlife). Walsh was impressed by her talent and she was signed to Polydor Records, subsequently spending several months moving between Denmark, Sweden, England and Ireland, where she co-wrote and recorded her debut album, Gotta Tell You. She eventually dropped out of school to focus on her music career, citing that it was becoming a difficult task for her to stay in school and work on her music.

Mumba’s first hit, Gotta Tell You, was released in 2000 and shot to the #1 spot on three Irish charts, later reaching #2 on the United Kingdom charts. She also scored American success with her debut single, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album stayed on the charts for a staggering 6 months and eventually certified Platinum for shipments of 1 million copies.

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