Mama I Want to Sing
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Mama, I Want to Sing! is an American musical film written and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, produced by Vision Films and CodeBlack Entertainment, and distributed by 20th Century Fox s Fox Faith division. The film is an adaptation of the off-Broadway gospel stage musical of the same name, written and produced by Vy Higginsen and Ken Wydro.

The film is based on the life story of Higginson s sister, Doris Troy, a preacher s daughter who sang in a church choir before being discovered by James Brown. Doris Troy s niece, Knoelle, who has played the star role in the off-Broadway production, makes her film debut in the movie in a principal role.

One of the executive producers announced via Twitter that the movie was completed in June 2009. The official movie trailer was released and premiered on September 22, 2009. It was set to premiere September 26, 2009 at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City, but due to technical issues it was canceled. The film was also slated to premiere on July 23, 2010, at the Faith Film Festival, but was also cancelled as well. In an October 2010 interview, Jeff Clanagan (CEO of Codeblack Entertainment) announced that the film was set for a January 14, 2011 release. However, it was pulled from the 10-15 theaters it was scheduled for at the last minute. In December 2011, a press release from Fox Home Entertainment states that Mama, I Want to Sing! would be a direct-to-video film. A new promo shot was also released. The film was released straight-to-DVD on February 14, 2012 following years of production hell and numerous delays.


Amara Winter (Ciara), a beautiful and charismatic young singer, is on the verge of stardom. Raised in the church by her father, Reverend Dr. Kenneth Winter (Marvin Winans) and mother, Lillian Winter (Lynn Whitfield), Amara and her younger brother Luke (Kevin Phillips) have a very strong bond. After her father s untimely death, her mother is thrust into the limelight in the role as preacher, a daring move that ultimately catapults her to the top of the gospel world. Paralleling her mother s success, Amara soon becomes a huge star in her own right, taking the R&B world by storm.

Conflict begins to ensue when her mother is confronted with, and unequivocally disapproves of, Amara s secular music and videos. Amara must learn to pursue her dreams while navigating the often treacherous world of celebrity and striving to remain true to herself and family. Amara and her mother must work through their differences realizing that their journeys are not quite so different after all.


  • Ciara as Doris Winter / Amara Mariah Roberson as Young Doris Winter
  • Mariah Roberson as Young Doris Winter
  • Lynn Whitfield as Dr. Lillian Winter, Doris Mother
  • Marvin Winans as Reverend Winter, Doris Father
  • Patti LaBelle as Sister Carrie
  • Billy Zane as Dillan, Doris Producer
  • Hill Harper as Jeff Andrews, Doris Manager
  • Kim Porter as Tara
  • Ben Vereen as Horace Payne
  • Ava Santana as Dr. Winter s Assistant
  • Kevin Phillips as Luke Winter, Amara s Brother Michael Josiah Foster as Young Luke Winter
  • Michael Josiah Foster as Young Luke Winter
  • Alexandra Cheron as Kimberly
  • Juanita Bynum as Beverly
  • Shonda Farr as Holly
  • Courtney Shay Young as Doris Wardrobe
  • Geraldine Glenn as Still Photographer
  • Marissa D Onofrio as Sienna
  • Gospel For Teens Choir


Tarralyn Ramsey and Paris Bennett auditioned for the role of Amara before CodeBlack Entertainment offered the role to Ciara. Vy Higginsen, the original playwright for the off-Broadway production of Mama, I Want to Sing! , assisted Charles Randolph-Wright with the script. Shalyric Self was set to portray the younger version of Amara, but due to contract issues, she was replaced by Mariah Roberson. The film was shown on BET for the first time on August 19, 2012.


Mama I Want To Sing: The Soundtrack was released on January 18, 2011.

Year 2011
ReleaseDate 2012-02-14
RuntimeMins 100
RuntimeStr 1h 40min
Plot A preacher’s daughter, Amara, sings in the church choir before being discovered by a well-established musician. Soon she rises to international fame as a pop singer.
Directors Charles Randolph-Wright
Writers Charles Randolph-Wright, Vy Higginsen
Stars Ciara, Lynn Whitfield, Patti LaBelle
Produced by Marvet Britto,Holly Davis Carter,Jeff Clanagan,Monica Floyd,Vy Higginsen,Jordan Kessler,Robert Maurin III,David Pomier,Adam Robinson,Nick Thurlow,Gregory M. Walker,Richard Walters
Music by Ryan Franks,Scott Nickoley
Cinematography by Keith L. Smith
Film Editing by John Sitter,Aaron L. Williams
Casting By Pamela Azmi-Andrew,Lisa Marie Dupree,Robi Reed
Production Design by Erika Rice
Art Direction by Beau Chaney,Gabriel Saint
Set Decoration by Michelle Marchand II
Costume Design by Amanda Riley
Makeup Department Roxanne Ferguson,Yolonda Frederick,Darryl Lucas,Geneva Nash Morgan,Ebony Star Parson,Remi Savva,JoAnn Stafford-Chaney,Shunika Terry,Laini Thompson,Caya Williams
Production Management Katie Harvey,Oak Porcelli,Cj Stewart
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Michael A. Pinckney
Art Department Beau Harrison,Michael D. Kennedy,Jessica Lee,Sam Lothridge,Leonard Marchand,Joseph Pipes,Gabriel Saint,Cathy Wassylenko,Grant Widmer
Sound Department Alex Brazan,John B. Cormier,Jason Dotts,J. Alex Faucheux,Cameron O. Galloway,LaToya George,Judah Getz,Jerry Gilbert,Kevin Gradnigo,Allison Howe,Dan Izen,Betsy Lindell,Nicolas Mazet,Spencer Hall,John St. Denis
Special Effects by Matthew Scurry
Visual Effects by Lawles Bourque,John Lands,Aaron L. Williams
Camera and Electrical Department Nathan Borck,Danny Brazen,Sidney Brisco,Craig Carter,Jeffrey N. Civa,Donta Coleman,Duane Cooper,Lamont Crawford,David Feeney-Mosier,Nicholas Hahn,Jerry M. Jacob,McKay Johnson,Justin Kenyon,Luis Lopez DeVictoria,Wayne Sharp,Kennith G. Smith,Johnny Sousa,Jeff Taylor,Greg Travis,Calvin Ursin Jr.,Earl Woods
Casting Department Brent Caballero,Scott M. King,Natalie Patterson
Costume and Wardrobe Department Wil Brooks,Robin Michel Bush,Hannah Guarisco,Meredith Harris,Jessica Nicole Higgins,Nyima Johnston,Ashlie Philastre,Leah Standley
Editorial Department Tyler Dixon,Andrew Drazek,Valerie Rodriguez,Erin Nicole Wyatt
Location Management Stephan Roux,Van White,R. Bryan Wright
Music Department Jeremy Pleasant,DeMonica Santiago,Brigg Sterns
Script and Continuity Department Wendy L. York
Transportation Department Lance Leis,George Mills,Willie D. Partin,Jack Prince
Additional Crew Noor Ahmed,Mac Alsfeld,Adam Babin,Heather Babineaux,Michael Barnes,Brian Buquoi,Monica Butler,Mona Coulter,Kade Griffon,Derrick Guidry,Chris Hadlock,Shonta Hylton,Daniel Lewis,Lee McEwen,Camille Murray,Johnnie Ruth Richey,Bill Stevens,Nicole Taylor,Greg Washington,Derrick Bentley Wells,Aaron L. Williams,Danielle Wilson
Thanks Monica Butler
Genres Drama, Family, Musical
Companies Codeblack Entertainment, Louisiana Media Services, Releve Entertainment
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating PG
ImDbRating 4.2
ImDbRatingVotes 342
Keywords family relationships,based on play