Mahmood (singer)

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Mahmood in November 2019
Mahmood in November 2019
Background information
Birth nameAlessandro Mahmoud
Born (1992-09-12) 12 September 1992 (age 31)
Milan, Italy
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • guitar
Years active2012–present
LabelsUniversal Music

Alessandro Mahmoud (Italian: [alesˈsandro ma(h)ˈmud], Egyptian Arabic: [mæħˈmuːd]; born 12 September 1992) (Arabic: أليساندرو محمود), known professionally as Mahmood, is an Italian singer-songwriter. He rose to prominence after competing on the sixth season of the Italian version of The X Factor. He has won the Sanremo Music Festival twice, in 2019 with the song "Soldi" and in 2022 alongside Blanco with the song "Brividi". His Sanremo victories allowed him to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest in those respective years, finishing in second place in 2019 and in sixth place in 2022 as the host entrant.[1][2][3]

Mahmood has released three studio albums, Gioventù bruciata, Ghettolimpo and Nei letti degli altri. Amazon Music Italy enlisted him as one of the most streamed artists in Italy.[4]

Early life[edit]

Born in Milan to an Egyptian father and a Sardinian mother from Orosei, Mahmood was raised around Gratosoglio, a district of Milan.[5] When he was five years old, his parents divorced and he was subsequently raised by his mother.[6][7]


2012–2018: X Factor and beginnings[edit]

In 2012, Mahmood auditioned for the sixth season of the Italian version of The X Factor. He became part of the boys category mentored by Simona Ventura. He was originally eliminated at Judges Houses, then returned as a wildcard, before eventually being eliminated in the third episode.[8][better source needed] After this experience, he worked in a bar and attended a music school, studying piano, solfeggio and music theory, where he also started writing songs.[9] In 2013, he released his debut single "Fallin' Rain".[10]

In 2016, Mahmood participated in the Newcomers Section of Sanremo Music Festival with the song "Dimentica". In 2017, he released the single "Pesos", with which he participated in the fifth edition of the Wind Summer Festival, winning the third episode of the Youth section.[8] In 2017, he was also featured on Fabri Fibra's single "Luna".[11] In September 2018, he released his debut extended play, Gioventù bruciata. In November 2018, Marco Mengoni released his fifth album, Atlantico, which features three tracks co-written by Mahmood, including the single "Hola (I Say)".[8]

2018–2020: Gioventù bruciata, Sanremo and Eurovision[edit]

Mahmood during a Eurovision rehearsal in May 2019.

In December 2018, Mahmood was one of 24 acts selected to compete in Sanremo Giovani, a televised competition aimed at selecting two newcomers as contestants of the 69th Sanremo Music Festival.[12] Mahmood was placed first in the second episode of the show, with his entry "Gioventù bruciata", also receiving the Critics' Award among acts performing in the second final.[13][14] "Soldi" was later announced as his entry for the Sanremo Music Festival 2019.[15]

Mahmood performed the song for the first time during the first live show of the 69th Sanremo Music Festival, which was held on 5 February 2019.[16] Dario "Dardust" Faini, co-writer of the song, directed the Sanremo Orchestra during his performance.[17] During the third live show, "Soldi" was the first performance of the night.[18] On 8 February 2019, Mahmood performed the song in a new version, featuring rapper Gué Pequeno.[19] During the first round of the final, "Soldi" placed 7th in the televote, but was the most voted by the experts jury, and the second most voted by the press jury.[20] As a result, Mahmood gained a spot in the top three acts of the competition and after an additional performance, the song was declared the winner of the 69th Sanremo Music Festival.[21] Mahmood also received the "Enzo Jannacci" Award for Best Performance.[22] and the "Premio Baglioni d'oro" award for best song voted by the participating artists.[23]

On 22 February 2019, Mahmood reissued Gioventù bruciata as a full-length studio album, which topped the Italian albums chart.[24] In April 2019, Mahmood was featured on the single "Calipso" by Charlie Charles and Dardust, which topped the Italian singles chart.[25] In May 2019, he represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel. He performed "Soldi" in the grand final of the contest on 18 May, placing second in the final ranking. The song topped the charts in Greece, Israel, Italy and Lithuania and reached the top 10 in five more countries, eventually becoming the most-streamed Eurovision song ever on Spotify, a record held until late January 2021 when it was surpassed by the 2019 Eurovision winner, "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence.[26][27] Mahmood performed at the closing ceremony of the 2019 Summer Universiade in Naples with three of his songs "Soldi", "Gioventù bruciata" and "Anni 90".

2020–present: Ghettolimpo, return to Sanremo and Eurovision[edit]

On 11 June 2021, Mahmood released his second studio album, Ghettolimpo.[28] The album's release was preceded by five singles: "Rapide", "Dorado" (in collaboration with fellow Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta and Colombian singer Feid), "Inuyasha", "Zero" (also included in the soundtrack of the 2021 Netflix series of the same name) and "Klan".

Mahmood made his return to Sanremo in 2022 alongside Blanco with the song "Brividi", with which they won and thus earned the right to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin.[29][30] The song reached number 15 on the Billboard Global 200 chart dated 19 February 2022.[31] At the contest in Turin, "Brividi" finished in sixth place with 268 points.[32]

He competed once again in Sanremo in 2024 with the song "Tuta gold",[33][34] the song immediately peaked number 1 in Italy and entered the Global top songs on Spotify. [35]

Public image[edit]

Mahmood is a portmanteau of Alessandro's surname Mahmoud and the English expression my mood.[36] Mahmood speaks some Arabic, and is fluent in Sardinian.[7] Following his Sanremo win, then Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who is known for his anti-immigrant views, criticized him for winning over Ultimo who received the highest number of public votes.[37]

Mahmood has an aversion to being categorized by his nationality and rumours of his sexuality.[6] He has stated that “labelling ourselves creates distinctions” and that “there is no need to explain our own preferences, until homosexuality will be perceived as a normal thing, which it is".[38] When speaking in favour of a proposed law against homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, he described having been subjected to homophobic bullying during his schooling.[39] According to Italian press, while he has refused to answer the question of whether he's gay, he has stated that he's "happy and taken".

He considers himself Christian[40] and, more specifically, Roman Catholic,[36] despite disagreeing with the Catholic Church's teaching that homosexual acts are "gravely sinful".

In 2019, he was named to the Italian Forbes 30 Under 30, a list showcasing entrepreneurs, entertainers and celebrities who have made a name for themselves before reaching the age of 30.[41]


Mahmood has described his music as Moroccan pop. According to him "what sets me apart are the Middle Eastern sounds that emerge here and there".[38] "Soldi", which is an autobiographic song about his "unconventional family", includes a sentence in Arabic.[42] One of his earliest musical memories is listening to Arabic music with his father before he left the family.[43] Growing up he also listened to Italian artists like Lucio Battisti, Lucio Dalla and Paolo Conte.[43][6] He considers himself very linked to Sardinia's culture and folklore, which often acts as a source of inspiration for the composition of his songs.[7]

Mahmood has cited American singer Frank Ocean as his biggest influence: "[His music] is very free and in which everyone can identify themselves, gay or straight, because the essential is the person and the energy that he transmits and not the sexual orientation".[44] His other favourite artists include Beyoncé, Travis Scott, Jazmine Sullivan, Rosalía and SZA.[44][45]


Studio albums



Year Title Role Notes
2023 The Little Mermaid Sebastian (voice) Italian voice-over role

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Work Result
2018 Sanremo Giovani[46] "Gioventù bruciata" 1st Place
Critics' Award Won
2019 Sanremo Music Festival[47] Big Artists "Soldi" 1st Place
Enzo Jannacci Award for Best Performance Won
Baglioni d'oro Award for Best Song Won
Eurovision Song Contest 2nd Place
OGAE Poll[48] Best Song of Eurovision 2019 Won
Marcel Bezençon Awards[49] Composer Award Won
Wind Music Awards[50] Triple Platinum Certified Single Won
Gold Certified Album "Gioventù bruciata" Won
MTV Europe Music Awards[51] Best Italian Act "Soldi" Won
2022 Sanremo Music Festival Big Artists "Brividi" 1st Place
Eurovision Song Contest 6th Place
OGAE Poll[52] Best Song of Eurovision 2022 2nd Place


  1. ^ "Sanremo, il vincitore è Mahmood. Ultimo è secondo, terzo classificato Il Volo". La Repubblica. 10 February 2019.
  2. ^ Castagneri, Alice; Pavanello, Roberto (10 February 2019). "Mahmood vince il Festival di Sanremo". La Stampa (in Italian). Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  3. ^ Cabona, Claudio (14 January 2022). "Festival di Sanremo 2022: tutti in cerca di musica leggerissima". Rockol (in Italian). Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  4. ^ "Italian artistes top Amazon music July chart - P.M. News". Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  5. ^ Rio, Paolo Giordano Laura (10 February 2019). "Mahmood conquista l'Ariston: "Sono un ragazzo italiano"". Il Giornale (in Italian). Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Italian Minister Pans Hit Song by an Immigrant's Son". The New York Times. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Mahmood: "Quel padre scomparso e la Sardegna, fonte della mia ispirazione" IL VIDEO". (in Italian). 7 February 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "Mahmood (Italy) / Махмуд (Италия)". Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 2019: Who Is Mahmood?". Italics Magazine. 23 February 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  10. ^ Alberto Muraro (24 July 2013). "Mahmoud – Fallin' Rain (audio e cover singolo)" (in Italian).
  11. ^ "Luna (feat. Mahmood) - Single by Fabri Fibra". iTunes. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Sanremo Giovani 2019, ecco i 24 cantanti selezionati per la finale: tanti ex dei talent". La Stampa. 27 November 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Sanremo Giovani, Mahmood vince la seconda finale e va in gara tra i big. A lui anche il Premio della Critica. La classifica" (in Italian). 22 December 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  14. ^ Giuseppe Candela (22 December 2018). "Sanremo giovani, Mahmood è il vincitore della seconda serata. Ecco il cast completo di Sanremo 2019". Il Fatto Quotidiano (in Italian). Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Sanremo 2019: duetti, ospiti e ultime notizie dal Festival". TV Sorrisi e Canzoni (in Italian). 8 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Sanremo 2019, la cronaca della prima serata". Rolling Stone (in Italian). 5 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Mahmood vince Sanremo 2019, l'ascolano Dario Faini ha scritto la canzone". Il Resto Del Carlino (in Italian). 10 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Sanremo 2019, terza serata: date la conduzione del Festival alla Vanoni, gli Zen Circus spaccano" (in Italian). 7 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  19. ^ Alessandra Vitali (8 February 2019). "Sanremo, la quarta serata è dei duetti. Con Ligabue l'Ariston è rock, Anastasio canta gli sdraiati". la Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Classifiche Sanremo 2019" (PDF) (in Italian). RAI.
  21. ^ Alberto Mattioli (10 February 2019). "Mahmood vince il Festival di Sanremo, sul podio Ultimo e Il Volo". La Stampa (in Italian). Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  22. ^ "Sanremo 2019, il Premio Enzo Jannacci assegnato da Nuovoimaie a Mahmood" (in Italian). Rockol. 8 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  23. ^ Barbara Conti (12 February 2019). "Sanremo 2019: un Festival che vuole descrivere il nostro Paese". Avanti! onLine (in Italian). Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  24. ^ "Discographie Mahmood (Albums)". Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  25. ^ "Top Singoli – Classifica settimanale WK 18" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  26. ^ "Italy: Mahmood's "Soldi" is now the most-streamed Eurovision song on Spotify". Wiwibloggs. 16 October 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  27. ^ ""Arcade" passes "Soldi" as the most-streamed Eurovision entry on Spotify". ESCXTRA. 29 January 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  28. ^ Graziola, Alberto (19 April 2021). "Ghettolimpo, Mahmood, album, cover, significato, tracklist". Soundsblog (in Italian). Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  29. ^ "Ready for Eurovision: Mahmood & Blanco win Sanremo 2022 in Italy". Eurovisionworld. 6 February 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
  30. ^ "Mahmood & Blanco to represent Italy in Eurovision Song Contest 2022!". EscXtra. 6 February 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
  31. ^ "Noemi a Sanremo 2022 canta Ti amo non lo so dire". (in Italian). February 2022.
  32. ^ Amin, Meghna (15 May 2022). "Eurovision 2022: Voting results between jury and televoters split revealed after Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra defeat UK at final hurdle". metro. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  33. ^ "Italy 2024: 'Sanremo' lineup revealed". European Broadcasting Union (EBU). 3 December 2023. Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  34. ^ "Sanremo 2024: i cantanti e le canzoni, gli ospiti e i conduttori. Tutto sul Festival" [Sanremo 2024: the singers and the songs, the guests and the hosts. Everything about the Festival]. TV Sorrisi e Canzoni (in Italian). 20 December 2023. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  35. ^ "La classifica finale di Sanremo 2024: vince Angelina Mango". Sky TG24 (in Italian). 11 February 2024. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  36. ^ a b "Dal Barrio ai Soldi, tutto quello che non sai (e dovresti sapere) sul miticissimo Mahmood" [From Barrio to Soldi, everything you don't know (but should) about the legendary Mahmood]. Cosmopolitan (in Italian). 24 April 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  37. ^ Lillo Montalto Monella (11 February 2019). "Winner of Italy's Sanremo song contest highlights political divides". Euronews. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  38. ^ a b "Mahmood: 'Vi piace cantautore Moroccan pop?'". Vanity Fair (in Italian). 1 February 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  39. ^ Luigi Bolognini (2 April 2021). "Mahmood: 'Io, vittima di omofobia al liceo. La legge Zan è civiltà'" [Mahmood: "I was a victim of homophobia in high school. The Zan law is civilisation.']. La Repubblica. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  40. ^ "Mahmood, imbarazzo all'Eurovision: 'C'è il Ramadam, [sic] come fai?'. E il cantante gela così il cronista" [Mahmood, embarrassment at Eurovision: 'Do you celebrate Ramadan?'; the singer freezes the reporter.]. Il Fatto Quotidiano (in Italian). 16 May 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  41. ^ "Forbes 100 30 Under 30 Italia 2019". Forbes. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  42. ^ "Sanremo, Mahmood: Soldi canzone autobiografica piena di rabbia". Il Sole 24 Ore (in Italian). 11 February 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  43. ^ a b "Sanremo Giovani, il trionfo di Mahmood: da X Factor con la Ventura ai big del Festival". Blasting News. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  44. ^ a b "La 'gioventù bruciata' di Mahmood". Rolling Stone. 30 September 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  45. ^ "40 cosas sobre Mahmood que (quizás) no sabías". Los 40. 20 June 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  46. ^ "Mahmood piglia tutto: Gioventù Bruciata trionfa a Sanremo Giovani". 22 December 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  47. ^ "Mahmood vince il Festival di Sanremo. Oltre le polemiche e le critiche, a Baglioni il leoncino d'oro per l'innovazione (dall'inviata L.Varlese)". HuffPost. 9 February 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  48. ^ "OGAE Poll 2019: Italy's Mahmood crowned winner". Wiwibloggs. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  49. ^ "Here are the winners of the 2019 Marcel Bezençon Awards". 18 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  50. ^ "Seat Music Awards 2019, Claudio Baglioni re-bis. Sfera Ebbasta pigliatutto ma non canta". 6 June 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  51. ^ "Mtv Ema 2019, Mahmood vince il "Best Italian Act"". Il Corriere della Sera. 3 November 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  52. ^ Zani, Simone (29 April 2022). "Eurovision 2022, Blanco e Mahmood sfiorano il colpaccio all'OGAE Poll! Malissimo Achille Lauro!". imusicfun (in Italian). Retrieved 21 August 2022.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Sanremo Music Festival winner
Succeeded by
Preceded by Sanremo Music Festival winner
with Blanco
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro
with "Non mi avete fatto niente"
Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Preceded by Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest
with Blanco
Succeeded by