Doja Cat Parents: Meet Deborah Sawyer and Dumisani Dlamini

Deborah, a Jewish-American, raised the rapper as a single mother in New York and California.

Doja Cat
Rapper Doja Cat PHOTO/Hollywood Reporter

Doja Cat, whose real name is Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini, is an American rapper, singer and songwriter.

She gained her stage name from one of her cats and her favorite strain of marijuana.

Doja Cat’s music is known for its hip hop, pop, R&B and pop rap style, with her second studio album, Hot Pink, reflecting her escapist fantasy worldview and drastic lifestyle changes.

She has hinted at queer themes in her music and has been open about her nicotine addiction, but is eager to deflect interest in her personal life.

Doja Cat has faced backlash for her behavior towards fans and has been involved in family legal matters.

She has also been involved in philanthropic efforts, donating to the Justice for Breonna Taylor Fund.


Doja Cat’s parents are Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer and Dumisani Dlamini.

Deborah, a Jewish-American, raised Doja Cat as a single mother in New York and California, significantly influencing her artistic career by enrolling her in performing arts schools.

On the other hand, Dumisani Dlamini, an actor and dancer from South Africa, had a more distant relationship with Doja Cat, with the two never meeting in person.

Despite their complex dynamics, both parents have played roles in shaping Doja Cat’s artistic range and musical style.

How did Doja Cat become famous?

Doja Cat rose to fame through a combination of viral moments, social media presence and her unique musical style.

She started releasing tracks on SoundCloud as a teenager, gaining initial recognition with songs like So High.

Her breakout moment came with the viral success of the playful and quirky music video, Mooo!, in 2018, which propelled her into the spotlight.

Leveraging platforms like TikTok and YouTube, Doja Cat harnessed viral trends and catchy songs like Say So, leading to her first Billboard Hot 100 no. 1 hit in collaboration with Nicki Minaj.

Her ability to engage with fans on social media, her genre-bending artistry, and her willingness to push boundaries have all contributed to her rapid rise to fame.

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dumisa dlamini
Doja Cat’s father Dumisani Dlamini PHOTO/Instagram


Doja Cat’s career began when she was 17 years old, releasing her first single, So High, on SoundCloud and later signing with RCA Records in 2014.

She gained initial recognition with her music video for So High and continued to release music on SoundCloud, including the controversial song, Dindu Nuffin.

Doja Cat’s breakthrough came with the viral success of her song, Mooo!, and her second studio album, Hot Pink, which included the hit single, Say So, featuring Nicki Minaj.

Her 2021 album, Planet Her, received 11 Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year.

However, in May 2022, Doja Cat announced she would be quitting music after her summer tour with The Weeknd due to burnout and harassment from fans.

Despite this, she won her first Grammy award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for Kiss Me More (ft. SZA) in April 2022.


Doja Cat has received numerous awards throughout her career, including one Grammy Award, five Billboard Music Awards and five American Music Awards (AMAs).

Her second studio album, Hot Pink, was nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Album at the 48th annual AMAs and Top R&B Album at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards.

Her hit single, Say So, from Hot Pink reached number one on the Hot 100 following a remix with rapper Nicki Minaj, earning them a Guinness World Record for becoming the first female rap duo to top the chart.

Doja Cat has also received nominations for Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Rap Song at the Grammy Awards.

She has a total of 108 wins and 285 nominations in her career, showcasing her significant impact and success in the music industry.

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