Despite not winning the contest, Mahmood has become the success story of the season, much like Eleni Foureira in 2018. With “Soldi” becoming a global hit following his San Remo win, his star continues to rise. He will even be embarking on his first European tour later this year! Last week, he dropped a new single, called “Barrio”. Now, he has revealed that he has been invited to perform at the European Parliament next month!
Mahmood’s meteoric rise in recognition and success following his initially turbulent Sanremo win has been something to behold. Despite controversy surrounding his Sanremo victory potentially putting his Eurovision participation into question, he persevered. This, and his subsequent success, have inspired a recent article by globally-renowned Time Magazine.
If a feature in one of the largest publications in the world wasn’t enough, Mahmood has revealed yet another incredible career achievement. This week, he revealed that he has been invited to perform at The European Parliament! He will be performing at the Friends of Music event on October 22nd in Strasbourg, France. This will be followed by his much-anticipated European tour.
Who is Mahmood?
27-year-old Alessandro Mahmood was born in Milan to an Italian-Sardinian 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, he 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.
Mahmood brought the nation even closer to another win – securing a solid second place finish behind Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade”. Mahmood finished with 472 points to Duncan’s 498 points.
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