Trophies and...Turtles? Two Music-Related Firsts for Italy

Wed, 08/31/2022 - 11:25
Måneskin performing at Eurovision
Måneskin performing at Eurovision 2021. / Shutterstock

In two separate events this weekend, Italian supergroup Måneskin and longtime pop-rap icon Jovanotti set tongues wagging — but for entirely different reasons.

A Rome-born glam rock band, Måneskin took the top prize at last year’s Sanremo Music Festival with their song “Zitti e buoni” and went on to win Eurovision. Sunday night, they made history again by becoming the first Italian music group to go home with an MTV Video Music Award (VMA).

Winning in the category of “Best Alternative Video” for their single, “I Wanna Be Your Slave,” the Italian quartet also performed their latest hit, “Supermodel.” Their first-time appearance wasn’t without controversy: Facing a “wardrobe malfunction” (à la Janet Jackson’s at Superbowl XXXVIII), bassist Victoria de Angelis was caught off-guard bare-breasted during the live broadcast. (That wasn’t what scandalized fans: Commentators on both sides of the Atlantic instead criticized what they saw as unfounded censorship by MTV after cameras quickly cut away.)

The “slipup” shouldn’t derail Måneskin’s meteoric rise to international stardom. Prior to winning their VMA, the group had racked up a series of late-night TV appearances in the US, opened for the Rolling Stones, and headlined a show at Rome’s Circus Maximus, which drew thousands of screaming fans — actress Angelina Jolie and her daughter Shiloh among them.

Flavor-of-the-moment Måneskin weren’t the only Italian musicians in the news this weekend: Seasoned star Jovanotti made his own “waves” with what turned out to be an environmental miracle. 

Not too long after Jovanotti’s summer-capping concert had ended, 30 baby sea turtles hatched and made their way safely to the waters off Jova Beach in Castel Volturno — where the concert was held just hours before.

The Caretta caretta sea turtles (loggerheads) are the only ones that regularly nest in southern Italy. Not surprisingly, environmentalists weren’t thrilled with the prospect of a “beach party” of 20,000 concertgoers so close to the turtles’ delicate nesting sites.

Volunteer members of the Domizia Association, an organization that protects and conserves sea turtles along Italy’s southern coastline, accompanied the flippered infants to safety. President of the association Vincenzo Ammaliato commented, “Beach concerts and caretta caretta nesting sites can co-exist — the important thing is that there is mutual attention and respect.”