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Mama, I Want to Sing! is an American musical film written and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, produced by Vision Films and CodeBlack Entertainment, and distributed by 20th Century Fox's Fox Faith division. The film is an adaptation of the off-Broadway gospel stage musical of the same name, written and produced by Vy Higginsen and Ken Wydro.

Mama, I Want to Sing!
Official poster
Directed byCharles Randolph-Wright
Produced byHolly Davis Carter
Jeff Clanagan
David Pomier
Written byVy Higginsen (musical)
Ken Wydro (musical)
Charles Randolph-Wright
StarringCiara Harris-Wilson
Lynn Whitfield
Patti LaBelle
Juanita Bynum
Hill Harper
Billy Zane
Ben Vereen
Music byVy Higginsen
Ken Wydro
CinematographyKeith Smith
Edited byJohn Sitter
Distributed byFox Faith
Release date
  • February¬†14,¬†2010¬†(2010-02-14) (United States)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$5 million

The film is based on the life story of Higginson's sister, Doris Troy, a preacher's daughter who sang in a church choir before being discovered by James Brown. Doris Troy's niece, Knoelle, who has played the star role in the off-Broadway production, makes her film debut in the movie in a principal role. Vy

One of the executive producers announced via Twitter that the movie was completed in June 2009. The official movie trailer was released and premiered on September 22, 2009. It was set to premiere September 26, 2009 at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City, but due to technical issues it was canceled.[1] The film was also slated to premiere on July 23, 2010, at the Faith Film Festival, but was also cancelled as well. In an October 2010 interview, Jeff Clanagan (CEO of Codeblack Entertainment) announced that the film was set for a January 14, 2011 release.[2] However, it was pulled from the 10-15 theaters it was scheduled for at the last minute. In December 2011, a press release from Fox Home Entertainment states that Mama, I Want to Sing! will become a direct-to-video film. A new promo shot was also released. The film was released straight-to-DVD on February 14, 2012 following years of production hell and numerous delays.



Amara Winter (Ciara), a beautiful and charismatic young singer, is on the verge of stardom. Raised in the church by her father, Reverend Dr. Kenneth Winter (Marvin Winans) and mother, Lillian Winter (Lynn Whitfield), Amara and her younger brother Luke (Kevin Phillips) have a very strong bond. After her father's untimely death, her mother is thrust into the limelight in the role as preacher, a daring move that ultimately catapults her to the top of the gospel world. Paralleling her mother's success, Amara soon becomes a huge star in her own right, taking the R&B world by storm.

Conflict begins to ensue when her mother is confronted with, and unequivocally disapproves of, Amara's secular music and videos. Amara must learn to pursue her dreams while navigating the often treacherous world of celebrity and striving to remain true to herself and family. Amara and her mother must work through their differences realizing that their journeys are not quite so different after all.


  • Ciara as Doris Winter (Amara)
  • Lynn Whitfield as Dr. Lillian Winter (Doris' Mother)
  • Marvin Winans as Rev. Winter ( Doris' Father)
  • Patti LaBelle as Sister Carrie
  • Billy Zane as Dillan (Doris' Producer)
  • Hill Harper as Jeff Andrews (Doris' Manager)
  • Kim Porter as Tara
  • Ben Vereen as Horace Payne
  • Ava Santana as Dr. Winter's Assistant
  • Kevin Phillips as Luke Winter (Amara's brother)
  • Alexandra Cheron as Kimberly
  • Juanita Bynum as Beverly
  • Shonda Farr as Holly
  • Mariah Roberson as Young Doris
  • Courtney Shay Young as Doris Wardrobe
  • Geraldine Glenn as Still Photographer
  • Marissa D'Onofrio as Sienna
  • Gospel For Teens Choir


Tarralyn Ramsey and Paris Bennett auditioned for the role of Amara before CodeBlack Entertainment offered the role to Ciara. Vy Higginsen, the original playwright for the off-Broadway production of "Mama, I Want to Sing!", assisted Charles Randolph-Wright with the script. Shalyric Self was set to portray the younger version of Amara, but due to contract issues, she was replaced by Mariah Roberson.[3] The film was shown on BET for the first time on August 19, 2012.


Mama I Want To Sing: The Soundtrack was released on January 18, 2011.[4]

  1. Tug of War | Deitrick Haddon
  2. Walk Around Heaven | Patti LaBelle
  3. I Will | Paris Bennett
  4. Living Not in Vain | Fred Hammond feat. Smokie Norful
  5. Mama, I Want to Sing! | Kierra Kiki Sheard
  6. Be Grateful | Fred Hammond feat. Cynthia Simon
  7. U Got Me Through | 21:03 feat. J Moss
  8. For Me | B.R.I.G.G. feat. Eric Griggs
  9. I'm Gonna Serve the Lord | Johnny B. Williams
  10. Jus' 1 of Dem Days | Irocc Williams
  11. Sick-n-Tired | Karen Clark Sheard feat. Kierra Kiki Sheard
  12. Not Created to Fall | Desiree Coleman

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Marvet Britto Twitter
  2. ^
  3. ^ Shalyric Self on YouTube
  4. ^ "Mama I Want To Sing Soundtrack CD". Amazon. Retrieved 2011-01-30.

External linksEdit