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Latvia hosted the competition in 2003 following Marie N's victory in Tallinn the previous year.
A record 26 countries took part in the Eurovision Song Contest in the Latvian capital Riga. The slogan for 2003 was Rendezvous in Riga. Ukraine made its debut in the competition and sent one of the country's biggest stars, Olexandr Ponomariov.
Pop duo t.A.T.u., who only month before the contest had a major worldwide hit with All The Things She Said, represented Russia in Riga.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2003 is to date the last contest without semi-finals.
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