Italy’s Mahmood has been firmly in the top 5 of the odds ever since he won Sanremo back in February. His win also catapulted his success in his native Italy, where the song has become a massive hit. Now, ahead of him even taking to the stage in Tel Aviv, the song has been certified triple-Platinum.
This week, Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade”, the current favourite to win, was certified Gold in the Netherlands. But this is not the only song from this year’s contest to reach commercial success. Prior to the contest, Mahmood’s “Soldi” has been the biggest hit of the 41 entries. He broke into the World Spotify charts shortly after his win and remains the most-streamed song of the 41 by a distance. He also recently won the OGAE poll, amassing 411 points and 13 sets of 12 points.
Now, before Mahmood even hits the stage in Tel Aviv, he has something else to celebrate. Soldi has now been certified triple-Platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry (FIMI). This means he has sold over 150,000 copies. This is the first certification of his career; the star recently released his debut album Gioventu bruciata to critical and commercial acclaim. Meanwhile, the official music video for the song has passed 78 million views.
Who is Mahmood?
26-year-old Alessandro Mahmood was born in Milan to an Italian-Sardinia mother and an Egyptian father. He was raised in Gratosoglio. At age five, his parents separated and he was then raised by his mother. In 2012, the made it to the third live show of the sixth season of the Italian X Factor. Following this, he studied piano, solfeggio and music theory at music school as he developed his songwriting. In 2013, he released his debut single, “Fallin’ Rain”.
In 2016, he made his Sanremo debut in the Newcomers Section with the song “Dimentica”. Following this, he released a number of singles and features. In late 2018 he was announced to be returning to Sanremo with Soldi. Although an outsider, he ended up winning a surprise victory in the super final over the likes of Ultimo and Il Volo. Although controversial at the time, he has since become a huge star in Italy, as shown by the success of Soldi and its parent album Gioventù bruciata. He was originally unsure of whether he would accept the offer of Eurovision participation following the backlash he received, but ultimately confirmed his place.
Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest
Italy was one of the seven countries that competed in the very first contest in 1956. So far, it participated at Eurovision 44 times, winning twice (in 1964 and 1990). The country regularly participated at Eurovision until 1997 when it withdrew for 14 years. Italy returned to the contest in 2011, represented by Raphael Gualazzi with “Madness of love” earning 2nd place.
Since returning, Italy has ranked in the top 10 in six out of eight occasions, including two top 3 finishes (in 2011 and 2015). In Lisbon the duo Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro represented Italy. Although they placed 17th with the jury, they came 3rd with the televote, coming 5th overall. Will Mahmood continue Italy’s success streak? We will find out on the night of the Grand Final on May 18th. As a member of the Big 5, Italy is an automatic qualifier for the Grand Final.
Does Mahmood’s commercial success hint at Eurovision success? Will Mahmood secure another top 10 finish for Italy? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! We’ll also be posting plenty of content on our YouTube in the run up to Tel Aviv!