Like the Afro-Cuban and mambo music that inspires his music, Lou Bega is a hybrid, born and raised in Germany as the son of a Sicillian mother and Ugandan father. He sang and danced as a child and listened to R&B and reggae as a teenager, but a trip to Miami as an 18-year old acquainted him with the songs of the mambo kings of the '30s and '40s. Fascinated by mambo's sounds and stylish fashions, Bega returned to Germany and created his own version of the music. The result was the single Mambo No. 5, which went double platinum in Germany in the summer of 1999 and soon became a global hit. Later that year, Bega's full-length debut A Little Bit Of Mambo
met similar success.