Estonia made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994. The country participated in a pre-qualifying round the previous year but failed to make it to the final. In 2001, Estonia became the first former Soviet country to win the contest.
Estonia first entered the Contest in 1994 when the late Silvi Vrait took to the stage in Dublin with Nagu Merelaine. The early years of Estonia's participation in the competition were particularly successful. Between 1996 and 2002 the country finished in the top 10 in 6 out of 7 Contests including fourth in 2000, winning in 2001 and finishing third in 2002.
After Estonia failed to qualify for 5 consecutive Contests between 2004 and 2008, the Estonians overhauled their national selection, and in 2009, Eesti Laul was born. The competition saw a reversal in Estonia's fortunes and the country went on to achieve its first top 10 placing in the Grand Final in 7 years. Perhaps more importantly for Estonian musicians, Eesti Laul has also become a launch pad for new talent in the country.