With their song, 'Move', The Mamas were chosen to represent Sweden in 2020. In light of the unfortunate cancellation of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest, we wish to highlight the impressive acts that were set to appear. This is 'In the spotlight', our feature honouring the artists that would have made up this year's edition of the world's largest live music event.
The Mamas won Melodifestivalen, Sweden's national selection competition for Eurovision 2020, with the song Move. After 5 shows of music, glitter and glamour in a tour all around Sweden, The Mamas were chosen through a combination of public votes and international jury votes.
Who are The Mamas?
The Mamas are a group of 3 super divas - Ash Haynes, Loulou Lamotte & Dinah Yonas Manna - with extraordinary talent. The group got their breakthrough overnight when participating in Melodifestivalen 2019 as backing vocalists for John Lundvik on his song 'Too Late For Love'.
The result was striking, not only for John, who won the competition but also for The Mamas, who made a fantastic debut and first impression. Together with John Lundvik, they represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. Their performance reached the top 5 in the Grand Final. After Eurovision 2019, 3 of the original 4 that made up The Mamas decided to continue their musical journey together as a trio; the fourth member, Parisa Renita, decided to work on other projects.
Ashley Haynes, a United States citizen, moved to Sweden in order to work with John Lundvik. Her addition to The Mamas helped them make history: this was the first time in the 60-year-old history of Melodifestivalen that a non-Swedish resident won the competition.
While Sweden has a trend of sending younger artists to the Eurovision Song Contest, LouLou Lamotte, born in 1981, is the second-oldest winner since 2000. The oldest winner was Carola in 2006 with Evighet (Invincible).
The Mamas' winning song Move was written by Melanie Wehbe, Patrik Jean and Herman Gardarfve. While this was their first time working together for Melodifestivalen, the trio has created to winning songs for Swedish Idol in 2017 and 2019.
Individually, the writers have all had Eurovision experience: Melanie was one of the songwriters for Denmark in 2019 with the song Love Is Forever, Patrik was also seen at Eurovision Song Contest in 2019 as a backing vocalist for Azerbajdzjan's Chingiz and Herman was a backing vocalist for Belarus in Eurovision 2016.
READ MORE: The Mama's participant profile
Regarding the cancellation of Eurovision 2020, The Mamas took to Instagram to leave the following message for their fans: "We, of course, respect the decision that has now been made. During the current emergency crisis situation that we are all in, the problem is bigger than the fact that we can’t go to Rotterdam. Of course, we are incredibly sorry on a personal level that we and our song are now not allowed to compete in the world's largest music competition after winning the Swedish competition. We’ve so looked forward to being able to represent Sweden with Move. We hope that people continue to listen to our song with the message that we can move mountains together, something that feels extra relevant today when everyone has to take responsibility and do the right thing. If we help each other in this difficult time, maybe something good can come from it in the end. Our thoughts go out to the organizer of ESC, who has worked hard in the head-wind. Take care of each other!"
Follow The Mamas on Instagram here.
Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest
Sweden made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1958. The country is known for the most successful Eurovision winners ever, ABBA, which was the first of Sweden’s victories in the competition. Sweden is one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest with six victories to date, coming second behind Ireland's record-breaking seven wins.
Since the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals were introduced in 2004, Sweden has only once failed to qualify for the Grand Final. In 2010, Anna Bergendahl finished 11th in the semi-final and narrowly missed out on a place in the Grand Final with her song This Is My Life. Since then Sweden has only once been out of the top 5, in 2013, when the contest was hosted in the Swedish city of Malmö.
READ MORE: Sweden's country page
In 2019, Sweden was represented by John Lundvik with Too Late For Love. The singer came in 5th place in the Grand Final with 334 points.