Get to know the Swedish artist for Eurovision 2020 better with 10 Things About…The Mamas!
1. The Mamas are a Swedish/American soul and gospel group consisting of the members Ashley Haynes, Loulou Lamotte and Dinah Yonas Manna. Founding member Paris Renita left the group in 2019.
2. As a four-piece, the group provided backing vocals for John Lundvik’s Melodifestivalen 2019 entry ‘Too Late For Love’. The song went on to win Melfest and represent Sweden at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. ‘Too Late For Love’ finished 5th in the Grand Final.
3. Ashley Haynes is an American citizen, from Washington D.C. She’s been singing Soul, R&B, Gospel and Country since she was 8 years old. She’s been touring with The Barrett Sisters, The Zack Brown band, Glenn Jones and Tony Terry among others.
4. Ash took a break from her job in a call centre in America to do Melfest in 2019 and when John Lundvik won and she asked for more time off to do Eurovision, the call centre said no. As a result she decided to quit the job, leave her family and move permanently to Sweden to follow her dreams.
5. LouLou Lamotte was a contestant on the 2008 edition of ‘Swedish Idol’ alongside other Swedish Eurovision representatives Robin Bengtsson (‘I Can’t Go On’, 2017) and Anna Bergendahl (‘This Is My Life’, 2010).
LouLou made it to the live finals stage of the competition and performed hits like ‘Stars’ by Simply Red and ‘Hurt’ by Christina Aguilera. She was eliminated in the ABBA week of the competition finishing in ninth place.
She got some redemption in 2020 when she faced both Robin Bengtsson and Anna Bergendahl again at Melfest 2020, this time she beat them both!
6. LouLou is also a member of the band Soulectric. She has written and sung with noted Swedish singers such as Jens Lekman, Advance Patrol, Pauline and Lilleman. She recently performed a tribute to Aretha Franklin at Malmö Live.
7. Dinah Yonas Manna’s background is within Jazz, Soul, Gospel and Hip Hop. She has sung with the likes of Katy Perry (background vocals on ‘Walking On Air’), Jerry Williams, Eric Saade, Blacknuss, Jocelyn Brown and Jonas Gardell. She’s been in the music business for over 20 years, and worked both as a songwriter and choir leader.
8. The Mamas released their debut single: a Christmas version of ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ in 2019 and it became one of the most streamed Christmas songs in Sweden during December. The song was added to all major radio stations in Sweden and they performed on several TV shows during December.
9. In 2019 it was announced that the Mamas would return to Melfest as an act in their own right. They performed the song ‘Move’ in the first heat in Linkoping. They received 1,370,798 votes which equated to 86 points. Topping their heat they went directly to the final where they received 1,610,446 votes. This equated to a combined jury and televote total of 137 points, just one point ahead of second place act Dotter.
10. This is only the second time in Sweden’s history at Eurovision that the same act will represent the nation two years in a row. The other time was in 1971/72 when they were represented by the Family Four.