EW introduces you to the 17 year old Irish pop singer

By Lori L. Tharps
Updated November 29, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

WHERE YOU’VE HEARD HER Mumba’s debut single, ”Gotta Tell You,” is a top 10 hit.

NO BLARNEY Her voice may sound like a cross between TLC?s T-Boz and a young Mary J. Blige, but Mumba, daughter of a Zambian dad and Irish mom, hails from Dublin. ”People [in America] have a weird perception of Ireland,” she notes. ”They think everybody has red hair and there are leprechauns running around.”

ANOTHER TEEN QUEEN Just because Mumba is 17, bares her belly button, and sings catchy pop/ R&B tunes doesn’t mean she?s a wannabe teen queen. Says Mumba, ”I don?t want to be Mandy Moore. I don?t want to be Britney Spears. And I’m sure they don?t want to be me.”

NEXT? ”I?ve got film agents in America now and I?m going to be working with the Ford modeling agency in the near future,” says the onetime TV and theater performer and dancer. In the meantime, her next club friendly single, ”Baby Come Over,” will be released early next year.