Lou Bega is a German musician and singer of Italian and Ugandan descent, and is famous for his song "Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...)". This song is a remake of the Perez Prado instrumental from 1949. Bega added his own words to the song and sampled the original version extensively.
Bega started his musical career as a rapper. When Bega lived in Miami he discovered Latin music. After returning to Munich he developed the concept for the song "Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...)". His musical signature consists of combining musical elements of the 40’s and 50’s with modern beats and grooves.
His first single "Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...)" became an instant worldwide hit charting at #1 in most European countries including Germany, UK and France and at #3 in the United States. In France, "Mambo No. 5" spent twenty weeks at #1.
In July 1999, he released the album A Little Bit of Mambo. It peaked at #3 in the USA. In Germany, Bega's native country, it also peaked at #3. In the UK the album peaked only at #50. A Little Bit of Mambo peaked at #1 in the album charts of Austria, Canada, Finland, Hungary, the Middle East, Portugal, and Switzerland. The second single, "I Got a Girl", charted well entering the Top 10 in some European countries including France, Finland and Belgium. The third single, "Tricky, Tricky" achieved number 18 on the Canadian charts and number 74 on the American Billboard Charts. "Mambo Mambo" reached number 11 on the French charts.
Bega's second studio album Ladies and Gentlemen was released in May 2001. The single from the album, "Baby Keep Smiling", is a duet with Compay Segundo from Buena Vista Social Club. Bega also covered the standard "Just a Gigolo / I Ain't Got Nobody" on Ladies and Gentlemen.
Bega was awarded the German Echo Prize in two categories as well as being nominated five times. Other accolades include a Grammy Award nomination, a World Music Entertainment Award in Cannes, the Blockbuster Entertainment Award in Los Angeles, the Festival Bar of Verona, the Amadeus Award of Vienna, and the Bunte New Faces Award in Berlin. Lou tours around the world with his band.
In early 2010, Bega released a new album called Free Again.