"Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mambo No. 5!"
Chances are the tune of that 1999 hit song is currently running through your head and you are silently cursing me for reminding you that it exists. If you grew up in the 90s, Lou Bega's hit song "Mambo No. 5" was probably played at every middle school dance you ever attended. But it seemed like after that song came out, the singer just vanished completely.
Lou Bega did actually release more songs, including one called "I Got A Girl" which managed to make it in the top 20, but none that had the same lasting impact as "Mambo No. 5." How did it all start?
First of all, Lou Bega isn't his real name. The singer was actually born and raised in Germany and his real name is David Lubega. How did a German man born in 1975 end up famous for singing Latin-inspired songs that sounded like they were from the 50s?
Well, at 13, Bega founded a hip-hop group with his friends. He was living in Miami at the time, but by the time the CD was released two years later he had found a new inspiration. Bega discovered Latin music and became obsessed.
He went back to Germany and met his manager Goar Biesenkamp, who helped him record the song "Mambo No. 5" which was inspired by the Latin music he enjoyed while in America.
When it was released, it became the number one song all over Europe, and then quickly came across to America.