The musical equivalent of the Olympics, the Eurovision Song Contest, is nearing its latest competition. The 65th edition of the international contest, in which countries throughout Europe and beyond each compete with an original song, returns May 18-22 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
In the months leading up to this year’s showdown, participating countries are holding their own qualifying rounds to select their official entries. This week, four songs emerging from Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival, held March 2-6, debut on the March 20-dated Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart.
First up, at No. 100, is “Chiamami Per Nome” by Francesca Michielin and Fedez. The song finished as the runner-up in the Sanremo competition. In the week ending March 11, it garnered 11.4 million streams and 3,300 digital sales outside the U.S, according to MRC Data.
Just behind is the winner of the competition, and therefore Italy’s official submission to the Eurovision Song Contest: “Zitti E Buoni” by Maneskin. It debuts at No. 106, propelled by 11.1 million streams and 3,500 sold.
Additionally, Colapesce and Mimartino’s “Musica Leggerissima” and Madame’s “Voce” debut at Nos. 120 and 146, respectively. The former, the fourth-place finisher in the Sanremo Music Festival, is the best-selling of the four debuts, with 4,800 downloads, as well as 9.3 million streams, outside the U.S. “Voce” arrives with 8.8 million streams and 1,500 sold.
The four songs are all sung entirely in Italian, marking the first such songs to hit the Global Excl. U.S. chart. Italian is the 15th language to be represented on the tally since its inaugural Sept. 19, 2020-dated edition. The 15 are: Arabic, Duala, English, French, Germany, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Zulu.
The six performers credited on the four debuting Sanremo competitors extend Italy’s total reach to 11 acts that have appeared on the Global Excl. U.S. chart. Production trio Meduza is the most prolific, with three songs so far, including “Paradise” with Dermot Kennedy, currently at No. 34. (All of Meduza’s charted entries have featured U.K. vocalists singing in English.)
Additionally, Italian acts La Vision and Gigi D’Agostino took “Hollywood” (with entirely English vocals) to No. 142 on the chart in September, while Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta and Colombian superstar J Balvin charted with their Italian-Spanish duet “Baby” (No. 126, December). Plus, Italian-American legend Perry Como (whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Italy two years before he was born) has scored one of the chart’s oldest entries, 1951’s “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” (No. 188, January).
Further regarding the Eurovision Song Contest’s reach on the latest charts, Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade” ranks at No. 16 on Adult Contemporary and No. 32 on Adult Pop Airplay. The song by the Dutch singer-songwriter won the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, becoming the first champion in the competition for the Netherlands since 1975. In 2019, the track topped multiple worldwide charts, including in Laurence’s home country.
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be the first since 2019, after last year’s was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the 2020 Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga brought the competition a notable spotlight, as well as, as announced March 15, an Oscar nomination for best original song for its anthem, and 2020 Billboard chart hit, “Husavik.”