Meet Angelina Mango, the First Woman to Win Sanremo in a Decade

| Mon, 02/12/2024 - 16:00
Angelina Mango in 2023

“Boredom” may not be the most typical sentiment of a winning Sanremo tune or a tormentone estivo (a summer earworm — which most winning Sanremo tunes go on to be). But in 2024, the feeling was resonant enough for 22-year-old Angelina Mango’s “La noia” (Boredom) to take home top honors at the 74th edition of Italy’s longest-running music competition.

At Saturday night’s finale (which, in typical Sanremo fashion, stretched into the early hours of Sunday), over 8.5 million viewers — an estimated two-thirds of all TV viewers across Italy — watched as Mango was crowned the winner.

While the title of Mango’s winning tune seems to promise a song weighed down by post-Covid angst, Mango doesn’t quite see it that way. Her lyrics allude to boredom as a springboard for creativity. In an interview with Italian state broadcaster Rai, Mango said, “The song highlights the way I look at life, smiling and dancing over the things that hurt me. It’s a way to exorcize the pain. I manage to see things with irony, and that’s what I want to convey to people, especially my peers.”

The victory gives Mango the opportunity to represent Italy in the upcoming Eurovision 2024 contest in Malmö, Sweden this May. 

The last time a woman won Sanremo was in 2014 when Arisa, then 32, took home the trophy for “Controvento.”

Who is Angelina Mango?

Angelina Mango is the daughter of the late singer-songwriter Pino Mango. Born in Maratea in Basilicata, she was raised in Lagonegro in the Potenza province. Growing up in a musical family, Mango learned to play the piano and the guitar in addition to singing.

Sanremo isn’t her first rodeo. A breakout star of 2023, Mango competed in the 22nd edition of Italy’s Amici di Maria De Filippi talent contest in which she finished second but won in the singing category. Her song “Ci pensiamo domani” (We’ll Think About it Tomorrow) was presented with the Lunezia Award for its musical-literary value.

Mango has amassed four platinum records, two gold records and a sold-out tour, in addition to chart-topping singles ”Che to’ dico a fa” and ”Ci pensiamo domani” — some of the most played songs on Italian radio. Her social media fanbase is huge, especially on TikTok, where she has, at this writing, 1.6 million followers.