Eurovision 2021 winners Måneskin – X Factor fame, drug scandal and busking

Last year when Måneskin won Eurovision 2021, everybody was getting hot under the collar thanks to their edgy pop-punk vocals and sultry image.

With Eurovision catapulting back onto our screens, TikTok sensation Sam Ryder is representing the United Kingdom – but his vocals and image are a far cry from that of Måneskin's.

Sam will take to the stage for the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, which is set to be held in Turin, Italy in just a few weeks.

Speaking of Italy, Måneskin, the winners of last year's contest, are an Italian rock band who were formed in Rome back in 2016.

The meaning behind their name is Danish for moonlight, with the quartet made up of Damiano David – vocals; Victoria De Angelis – bass; Thomas Raggi – guitar; and Ethan Torchio – drums.

From shooting to fame through The X Factor, to the "drug" scandal and starting out busking on the streets of Rome – we take a look into the edgy band's life.

Early career and busking

The quartet first met when they attended high school together in Rome.

With their origins traced to 2015, the band was officially formed a year later in 2016 when they decided on their name Måneskin, and registered for a local music contest.

After taking part in a singing competition called Pulse, they went on to perform at the Felt Music Club and won their first ever prize.

Their music competition stint led them to busking, which is what they did on the streets of Rome.

X Factor fame

A year after they officially formed as a band they took part in the eleventh series of of the Italian X Factor – something that really kick-started their career and put them on the path to global fame.

While on the show they sang Beggin' by the Four Seasons, which ended up going viral on TikTok soon after they won Eurovision years later.

Also while on the X Factor they sung Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand, and Somebody Told Me by The Killers.

They performed an original song that they had written too, titled Chosen – which was released as a single and charted at number two on the Italian Singles Chart.

Doing well in the competition and garnering an impressive following, Måneskin ended up finishing in second place behind the winner of their series Lorenzo Licitra.

After their fame on the X Factor they went on to release singles and then their first studio album, as well as embarking on national and European tours.

Eurovision success

After their X Factor success the punk band went on to win the Sanremo Music Festival in 2021.

Because of their win, Måneskin were then selected as the Italian representatives at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021.

Italy climbed to the top of the leaderboard and went on to win the contest after receiving a whopping 524 points.

The song that did it for them was Zitti e buoni, and it was the first rock song to win the contest since 2006.

When accepting the coveted gong, Damiano shouted into the microphone: "We just want to say to the whole of Europe, to the whole world, rock and roll never dies!"

'Drug' scandal

But their win had a slight shadow cast over it for a short while.

This came when the European Broadcasting Union said that they were looking into allegations that a member of the band was seen doing drugs on a video that did the rounds on social media.

The broadcasting union, who were also the organisers of the event said: "We are aware of the speculation surrounding the video clip of the Italian winners of the Eurovision Song Contest in the Green Room last night."

Måneskin "strongly refuted" the allegations of drug use.

The clip that did the rounds on social media saw the band drinking and celebrating at their table during the event.

Singer Damiano's head then bent over the table, leading to speculation he was ingesting drugs.

In a press conference Damiano said: "[Guitarist Thomas Raggi] broke a glass… I don’t use drugs. Please guys, do not say that. Don’t say that, really. No cocaine, please, do not say that."

The EBU later released a statement clearing the band of the claims: "A drug test was also voluntarily undertaken earlier today by the lead singer of the band Måneskin which has returned a negative result seen by the EBU. No drug use took place in the green room and we consider the matter closed."

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