Switzerland has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1956, winning the very first edition of the competition. The country has only missed the contest in 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2003 due to poor results in previous years, which according to the rules at the time, meant relegation from the Contest.
Switzerland hosted the very first Eurovision Song Contest and they also won it. Each country entered 2 songs in that debut year. Each entry could be sung by the same or different performers. Lys Assia sang both Swiss songs, the first one was in German, Das Alte Karussell, and the second one in French, Refrain. After some deliberations by the juries, Refrain was declared the winner of the first Eurovision Song Contest in Lugano! Lys Assia, went on to represent Switzerland again in both 1957 and 1958 and more recently entered the national selection for the 2012 contest.
Switzerland won the Eurovision Song Contest again in 1988 with Celine Dion's Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi. Mostly unknown in Europe at that time, Céline gave an outstanding rendition of the song and, after a cliffhanger voting sequence, she won the Contest for Switzerland, just one point ahead of the United Kingdom. Céline went on to become one of the biggest female artists in the world.