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Samantha Tamania Anne Cecilia Mumba[1] (born 18 January 1983) is an Irish singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, fashion model and TV presenter. She shot to fame in 2000 with the release of her debut single "Gotta Tell You", which reached the Top 5 in Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States. It has since been listed in Billboard's 100 Catchiest Choruses of the 21st Century.[2]

Samantha Mumba
Mumba in 2009
Background information
Birth nameSamantha Tamania Anne Cecilia Mumba
Born (1983-01-18) 18 January 1983 (age 36)
Dublin, Ireland
GenresDance-pop, R&B
Years active1999–present
Associated acts

In late 2000, at the age of 16, Mumba released her debut album Gotta Tell You, which contained primarily up-tempo R&B and pop songs. It was an international success, selling over 5 million copies, reaching number 9 on the United Kingdom and United States charts. To date, she has sold in excess of 15 million records globally and had six Top 10 hits in the United Kingdom, Ireland and 17 other countries.

In the United States, Mumba has had five Top 40 Hits and has been named one of the biggest selling Irish acts after U2, Enya and The Corrs. In 2001, she received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Remixed Recording (non-classical) for the track "Baby, Come on Over".

After a relatively short music career, she went on to pursue an acting career, but returned to music in 2013. Her film debut was in the 2002 film The Time Machine. She has also appeared in a number of Irish independent films.[3]


Early life and educationEdit

Mumba was born in Dublin, Ireland.[4] Her father, Peter Mumba, is from Zambia and was formerly an aircraft engineer;[5] her mother is Irish. Mumba attended Dublin's Billie Barry Stage School from the age of three to fifteen.

When Mumba was 15 she was discovered on a RTÉ TV talent show Let Me Entertain You by Irish music executive Louis Walsh (manager of Boyzone and Westlife). Walsh was impressed by her talent and she was signed to Polydor Records.

She subsequently spent several months moving between Denmark, Sweden, the UK 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, explaining that it was becoming difficult to stay in school and work on her music.[6]


Mumba sings contralto.[7] Her first single, Gotta Tell You, was released in 2000 and it peaked at #1 on the US Billboard Hot Singles Sales, #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100, #1 in Ireland and New Zealand, #3 in Australia and #2 in the UK. Gotta Tell You has since been listed in Billboard's 100 Catchiest Choruses of the 21st Century[2]

Mumba released her debut album at the age of 17, Gotta Tell You, in late 2000, which contained primarily up-tempo R&B and pop songs. It was an international success, selling over 5m copies, reaching #1 on the UK and US charts. In the UK alone, the album sold over 1.8m copies, which led to it being certified 6x platinum, making it one of the biggest selling albums of the 21st century in the United Kingdom. To date, she has sold in excess of 15 million records globally and has had 6 Top 10 Hits in the UK, Ireland, Europe and 17 other countries.

In the US, Mumba has had 5 Top 40 Hits (more than any other Irish female soloist), including 2 #1 hits and has been named one of the biggest selling Irish acts after U2 and Enya. In 2001, she received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Remixed Recording (non-classical) for the track Baby, Come on Over. At the Teen Choice Awards in 2001 and 2002, she was nominated for Choice Music: Best Breakout Artist and Choice Movie: Best Breakout Artist for film The Time Machine respectively.

Mumba and fellow teen star Aaron Carter performed a concert at Disney MGM Studios for the Disney Channel titled Aaron Carter and Samantha Mumba in Concert, which was then released on DVD, where it went double platinum and straight to #1 on the Billboard Music Video DVD Charts. She performed Gotta Tell You, Baby, Come on Over, What's It Gonna Be? and Don't Need You To. A year later, she and Carter also appeared on an episode of All That.

In 2001, Mumba contributed to the track "You Raise Me Up" by The Celtic Tenors. An EP titled Samantha Sings Christmas was released at Christmas 2001, which featured covers of White Christmas and All I Want For Christmas Is You. Samantha Sings Christmas also serves as a bonus disc on rare special editions of Gotta Tell You.

Following her international success of Gotta Tell You, Arnold Leibovit picked her to play Mara in The Time Machine. Directed by Simon Wells; H.G.Wells' great-grandson, Samantha co-starred with Guy Pearce and her real-life brother, Omero. Mumba's second venture into films was in 2003, where she appeared in the film Spin the Bottle.

In 2002, Mumba released a new single "I'm Right Here" with a laid-back sound. The video features Damian Marley, son of Bob Marley. The single became Mumba's fifth UK and Irish top 5 single and her fourth US Top 40 hit.

Rumors circulated that Mumba was getting ready to release a second album, Woman and that due to the poor sales of the lead single "I'm Right Here" in the US and a short lived time on the UK chart, she was dropped from her label. However, Mumba has since confirmed she was unable to release any new material anyway, due to contract restrictions following the restructure of Polydor Records, which resulted in her being dropped. In 2007, she stated on the Late Late Show that there never was a second album, and the tracks leaked on the internet were attempts by her to find a new sound.

In October 2006, a compilation album, The Collection, was released. The album features songs from Gotta Tell You, B-sides and two new tracks including her single "I'm Right Here".

In June 2013, Mumba confirmed her musical comeback on Twitter. On 16 August 2013 she appeared on the RTÉ television show The Hit to compete for a spot in the show's final. The song selected for chart battle was "Somebody Like Me" which was released on iTunes immediately afterwards and will compete against "Thinking of You" by Irish band Republic of Loose. The song peaked at number 5 on the Irish Singles Chart, marking her first hit single in 11 years since "I'm Right Here" in 2002.

On June 25, 2015, Mumba played a gig as part of the Dublin Pride Festival.[8]

In early 2017, she participated in a Celebrity Version of MasterChef Ireland and went on to fill in as co-host on The 6 O'Clock Show, while Lucy Kennedy took maternity leave. In 2018, she made her comeback onto British television, firstly as a guest and then a panellist on Loose Women and has confirmed her return to music, sharing pictures of herself in the studio with the likes of Wanya Morris and MNEK.


Shortly after the success of Gotta Tell You, Mumba became the face of Reebok appearing in print advertising in the UK and Ireland for the Quest range.[9]

Around the same time, Mumba was also seen as the face of the fashion designer Louise Kennedy's spring/summer collection.[10]

In 2004, she chosen to model the World's Most Expensive Dress. A £5m diamond cobweb dress, created by Scott Henshall, which was showcased at the London premier for Spider-Man 2.

Shortly after, she became the face of Dior ambassador and launched the Dior Watch Collection in Ireland.

In 2005, Mumba modelled for the Ultimo Per Amore range, available exclusively at the Irish main-street chain Dunnes Stores.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

She previously dated R&B singer Sisqó from 2004–2005.[12]

Mumba became engaged to policeman Torray Scales in June 2011.[13][14] The couple married in Los Angeles on 24 February 2012.[15] In September 2014, she announced that she was pregnant with her first child.[16]

In February 2015 she escaped uninjured from a three car pile-up in Los Angeles.[17]

On 3 March 2015 she gave birth to a baby daughter to whom Mumba and her husband gave the name of Sage.[18]





Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ "RTÉ Two: The Cafe, Samantha Mumba". RTÉ News. 23 September 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  2. ^ a b " Samantha Mumba Profile". Archived from the original on 26 July 2008.
  3. ^ Samantha Mumba filmography at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ All Music Guide to Soul, p. 486. ISBN 978-0-87930-744-8.
  5. ^ "Samantha Mumba Rift With Father". Showbiz Ireland. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  6. ^ "Samantha Mumba: Where did it all go wrong?". Irish Independent.
  7. ^ Rock N Roll Gold Rush: A Singles Un-Cyclopedia, by Maury Dean
  8. ^ "Leo Varadkar joins 60,000 revellers at Dublin Pride Festival". Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  9. ^ ShowbizIreland: Samantha Mumba's Quest To Be J-LO retrieved 28 May 2008
  10. ^ " Samantha Mumba". Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2008.
  11. ^ " - Irish News - Breaking News from Ireland".
  12. ^ Lorna Nolan, "Loved-up Samantha won't watch ex Sisqo on CBB",, 6 January 2010.
  13. ^ "Samantha Mumba admits she is terrified every time her LAPD officer husband goes to work". 16 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Exclusive: "Gotta Tell You" Singer Samantha Mumba Is Engaged!" 23 August 2011, US Magazine
  15. ^ "Gotta Tell You" Singer Samantha Mumba Marries – See Her Dress! 26 February 2012, US Magazine
  16. ^ 'It's a GIRL': Samantha Mumba announces she's pregnant and expecting first child Archived 5 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine 7 September 2014,
  17. ^ "Samantha Mumba in three-car pile up weeks before she is due to give birth". 11 February 2015.
  18. ^ "I'm a new Mum-ba! Joy for Samantha as daughter Baby Sage arrives". 7 March 2015.

External linksEdit